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Social Capital and the Use of Traditional Birth Attendant: Is It Relevant?

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Social Capital and the Use of Traditional Birth Attendant: Is It Relevant?

Gita Setyawati, Meredian Alam


Using the services of traditional birth attendants (TBA) in childbirth is considered as one of the maternal mortality determinants in Indonesia. Researchers reported that mothers preferred to have the help of TBAs in childbirth because TBAs have such powers as prayers and mantras that help the delivery process. However, very little is actually known about the factors shaping their preference. This research investigates the role of social capital as to maternal preference for having TBAs in childbirth. A cross sectional data of Indonesia Family Life Survey (IFLS) 2007 was used. Social capital was measured by social cohesion and community trust. Maternal demographic factors were measured by marital status, employment status, and education. Chi-Square test was used to analyze statistical association. Finally, logistic regression was used to gauge
their effects on the use of TBAs. The result showed that the existence of social cohesion and trust made a significant impact on the preference for choosing TBAs. In demographic factors, a comparable finding was found only at the educational level. The factors of having childbirth with the help of a traditional birth attendant are complex. An understanding of social context should be taken into consideration in making a serious effort to reduce the maternal mortality rate.


childbirth; social capital; social cohesion; traditional birth attendant; trust

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