Individual and community-level factors associated with home birth: A mixed effects regression analysis of 2017–2018 Benin demographic and health survey

Francis APPIAH, Bernard Afriyie OWUSU*, Josephine Akua ACKAH, Patience Ansomah AYERAKWAH, Vincent Bio BEDIAKO, Edward Kwabena AMEYAW

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Home birth is a common contributor to maternal and neonatal deaths particularly in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). We generally refer to home births as all births that occurred at the home setting. In Benin, home birth is phenomenal among some category of women. We therefore analysed individual and community-level factors influencing home birth in Benin.

Data was extracted from the 2017–2018 Benin Demographic and Health Survey females’ file. The survey used stratified sampling technique to recruit 15,928 women aged 15–49. This study was restricted to 7758 women in their reproductive age who had complete data. The outcome variable was home birth among women. A mixed effect regression analysis was performed using 18 individual and community level explanatory variables. Alpha threshold was fixed at 0.05 confidence interval (CI). All analyses were done using STATA (v14.0). The results were presented in adjusted odds ratios (AORs).

We found that 14% (n = 1099) of the respondents delivered at home. The odds of home births was high among cohabiting women compared with the married [AOR = 1.57, CI = 1.21–2.04] and women at parity 5 or more compared with those at parity 1–2 [AOR = 1.29, CI = 1.01–1.66]. The odds declined among the richest [AOR = 0.07, CI = 0.02–0.24], and those with formal education compared with those without formal education [AOR = 0.71, CI = 0.54–0.93]. Similarly, it was less probable for women whose partners had formal education relative to those whose partners had no formal education [AOR = 0.62, CI = 0.49–0.79]. The tendency of home birth was low for women who did not have problem in getting permission to seek medical care [AOR = 0.62, CI = 0.50–0.77], had access to mass media [AOR = 0.78, CI = 0.60–0.99], attained the recommended ANC visits [AOR = 0.33, CI = 0.18–0.63], belonged to a community of high literacy level [AOR = 0.24, CI = 0.14–0.41], and those from communities of high socio-economic status (SES) [AOR = 0.25, CI = 0.14–0.46].

The significant predictors of home birth are wealth status, education, marital status, parity, partner’s education, access to mass media, getting permission to go for medical care, ANC visit, community literacy level and community SES. To achieve maternal and child health related goals including SDG 3 and 10, the government of Benin and all stakeholders must prioritise these factors in their quest to promote facility-based delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number547
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The authors are grateful to MEASURE DHS for granting us timely access to use the data.

Publisher’s Note:
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


  • Benin
  • Community-level factors
  • Home birth
  • Individual level factors
  • Maternal health
  • Public health


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