As recently as 2005–06, almost two out of three women in Rajasthan, India were married before age 18 years (of those aged 20–24). Moreover, half of currently married girls aged 15–19 years in the state had already begun childbearing. The dangers of childbearing among adolescent girls, whose bodies have not physically matured, are widely acknowledged, as are the links between poverty and unsafe pregnancy. Yet, less is known about whether morbidity and mortality experiences vary within the subgroup of adolescent girls, whether such experiences differ between adolescent and adult women of similar parity, and whether treatment-seeking behaviors and the delays experienced in seeking treatment differ between adolescent and adult mothers. Little is known, moreover, about the extent of the disadvantage faced by women from different social classes. This policy brief documents the magnitude of self-reported pregnancy-related morbidity among low-parity adolescent and adult women, and the constraints they face in seeking appropriate and timely care in Rajasthan. It also sheds light on the extent to which morbidity and the constraints experienced in seeking care differ across social classes.
Santhya, K.G. 2009. "Making pregnancy safe for women in Rajasthan: Targeting the most vulnerable," Policy brief. New Delhi: Population Council.
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