Objective: To describe delivery-related complications and postpartum morbidity of women living in slum areas of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Method: From November 1993 to May 1995, 1506 women were interviewed regarding delivery-related complications and postpartum morbidities. Operational definitions were applied to maternal reports to categorize serious delivery-related complications and postpartum morbidity. Corroborating information was identified from medical records for facility-based deliveries and physical examinations by female physicians 14 to 22 days postpartum.
Result: Thirty-six percent of women described serious delivery-related complications and 75% of women reported postpartum morbidity. There were two maternal deaths among 1471 live births. When maternal reports were related to corroborating information, the proportion of women's reports of serious complications and morbidity appears reasonably accurate for some conditions.
Conclusion: A large proportion of urban slum women in Dhaka experience serious delivery-related complications and/or postpartum morbidity. Information on delivery practices that contribute to morbidity and factors that influence appropriate care seeking is needed.