Effect of maternal employment on health status of pre-school children in an urban-slum of Bhubaneswar

Arshad Ayub, Ipsa Mohapatra, Pinaki Panigrahi


Background: Women employment enhances household income and translates into better standard of living especially for children. That means maternal employment may benefit children’s health by increasing parent’s ability to buy high-quality food, good housing, and appropriate medical care. But, time spent at work may also decrease mother’s ability to care for and supervise children, leading perhaps to less healthy activities, such as eating poorly, unhygienically or engaging in too many unhealthy activities. This study tries to examine maternal employment as one potentially critical influence on the health status of young children in low-income families. The objectives were to assess the health status of preschool children and to find out the association between employment status of mothers and health status of their children of preschool age group.

Methods: A community based cross sectional study was done involving mothers having at least one child and living in the urban health training center (UHTC) catchment area. A pretested semi structured questionnaire was used to assess the health status of the preschool children and the related variables.

Results: 110 women were included in the study out of which 78 were not working/homemakers and 32 were employed. Immunization of children was better among employed mothers (81%) than children of unemployed mothers (67.9%). Hospitalization was also more among the children of non-working mothers.

Conclusions: Employment somehow helps in better care for children which is reflected in the health status of the children and also by the immunization status.



Working mothers, Child care, Maternal employment

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