According to latest research, insanitary living conditions like defecating in the open is the cause of adverse pregnancy outcomes in India.
The study conducted by Asian Institute of Public Health in Bhubaneswar studied 670 pregnant women in two rural areas of Odisha. The women were enrolled in their first trimester, and their sanitation practices were recorded, including toilet access.
It was observed that women defecting in the open (66%) had a significantly higher risk of adverse events during delivery and preterm deliveries, but not of low birth weight.
Bijaya K. Padhi and Pinaki Panigrahi, authors of the paper, said that this highlighted the need for sanitation especially in the context of maternal and child healthcare.
The study is published in PLOS Medicine.