A study of health profile in children of working women in Indore

Shachi Jain Taran, Dharmendra Gupta, Sudhir Mehta, Susmit Kosta


Background: The early childhood development is most crucial and the mother’s care and attention is essential. The inevitable changes like women entering the work field have an effect on the child care and development. This study was done with an objective to study the health profile and its determinants in children of working women by interrogating the mother regarding common health problems of their children, breast feeding practices and immunization coverage of the children.

Methods: The data was collected through questionnaires that were named as the mother’s schedule and the child schedule, which consisted of close-ended questions which were coded for an easy data entry. The mother’s schedule looked at the information regarding the mother, like the caretaker during the mother’s absence, the time which was spent with her child each day, etc. The Child schedule looked for information like whether the child was exclusively breast fed, its age in months when the weaning started, whether the government sponsored creche services were utilized, etc. It also included the anthropometrical measurements of the child like its current weight, current height and mid arm circumference, which were obtained by using standardized tools. For each schedule, a separate table was created in a relational basis in MS access, with suitable key fields to connect the information for the analysis.  

Results: According to our study the major determinants of health of the children of working mother were type of family, family size, working hours of mother, type of mother’s work and substitute care provider in the absence of mother. The prevalence of most of the diseases was also high in nuclear families, when substitute care was provided by elder siblings, very large and very small family size, long working hours of mother and when mother was working as non-skilled and semiskilled worker.  

Conclusions: There is an adverse effect on the health of children those mothers are working.


Child health, Working women, Immunization, Nutrition

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