Adolescent Motherhood: Understanding Individual and Community Perspectives to Delay First Birth in Rural Bangladesh

Publication Date: 03/07/2020

Globally, more than one third of girls marry before the age of 15. In Bangladesh, like in other developing countries, adolescent marriage is still very common. Early marriage leads to early pregnancy, as young wives are not allowed to make their own decisions about contraceptive use and timing of childbirth, deferring instead to their husbands and extended family. The major objectives of this formative research were to explore the intentions, desires, perspectives, motivators, and de‐motivators around the first pregnancy among married adolescent girls (MAGs). The study also explored ways to delay first pregnancies among MAGs, focusing on influential people in their lives, health providers, and positive deviants. Additionally, we examined alternative opportunities and barriers to delay first pregnancy through pursuit of an alternative life course and the use of modern contraceptives. The findings will be used to design an appropriate intervention for rural Bangladesh.