Factors Affecting Birth
Birth is an important component mainly related to fertility in the study of population education. Fertility deals with the birth. The population growth of a place/country depends upon fertility because the country with high level of fertility has rapid growth of population.
Therefore the factors affecting birth are described as follows: -
The biological factors are related to conception and childbearing that may affect fecundity or fertility of a woman.
- Heredity: It is believed that the ability to reproduce is reproduce is related to the hereditary factor. If someone‘s ancestor is infertile, there is possibility that some below the line may be infertile. Fertility may be impaired by the defects in the sex organs and such defects may be inherited.
- Health: If a person is in good health, he/she has the highest possibility to procreate. If a person is suffering from disease, the reproductive capacity can be adversely affected.
- Age: According to various studies conducted (USAID and UNFPA 1994- 2001),childbearing starts at the age of 15 and it starts peak up at 20’s.then it goes down and ultimately reaches to zero at the age of 49. So, marriage at the early age is the major reason for the large number of children being born. Age factor, therefore, is quite significant in controlling rapid population growth.
- Ovulation: It means the release of ovum by ovaries. Every twenty eight days a healthy woman, during the years of sexual maturity, from age 15-49,experiences the ovulation. From each ovary one or more ova release. During that time, a woman is capable of conceiving a child. Thereafter, the woman becomes infertile until the next ovulation.
- Lactation: Lactation is a period of breast feed. During lactation, mother’s breast feed their children. It is believed that pregnancy is prevented so long as the mammary glands are active and when mother is breast feeding. The discharge of ova from ovaries is also delayed during this time.
- Pregnancy wastage: Miscarriage, involuntary abortion or stillbirth interrupt the capacity to reproduce frequently. The period of interruption, delays the frequency of childbirth than during normal pregnancy. A woman may have miscarriage due to defects in her health or may be due to inadequate pre-natal care.
There are certain social values and assumptions which creates psychological pressure upon the couples to reproduce. Some of them are: -
- Psychological pressure from parenthood: Married couples feel relieved as soon as they have a child. They consider that their roles and responsibilities are fulfilled. If they could not beget any child for some time, everyone starts to worry about their future and hence the couple feels a psychological pressure to beget offspring.
- Psychological pressure of virility: There is strong notion that a man’s manliness may be proved by his ability to give birth to a child. The more children he has, he believes, it is prestigious, and he becomes a proud man. So, he feels a cerebral necessity to bear children.
- Psychological pressure of family prestige: Sons are regarded as the carrier of the family name, keeper of the family generation, etc. So, importance of sons makes the couple not to stop trying for a son, even if they already have many daughters.
- Psychological pressure of competition: Begetting many children has been a sense of pride and prestige. Mostly in the rural areas, people often get into the sense of competition among family members, peer groups and others in getting more children. This is one of the reasons for having a large family size in Nepal.
- More hands to work: People are encouraged to have a large family, because they believe, that large family will have many hands to work in the field.
- Bigger income: There is a belief that when there are many hands to work together, there will be bigger income. Children are considered as the earning members of the family. Even though there is a ban on child labour, most of the children are made to do odd jobs in the market, in the streets or in the houses to contribute to their share in the family income.
- Insurance: Parents consider their children as the asset for their future. They feel that their children will take care of them in their old age. This is the notion, which makes them to have many children, so that future is insured.
- Security: In a bigger family, the elder children are the ones who take care of their younger brothers and sisters, even at their tender ages. Parents enjoy and feel secured when there are many children around them.
Socio cultural factors
- God’s blessing: Children are considered as god’s blessing. Ever parent is supposed to have many children because they feel that the children are the gifts from god. Therefore, it is the primary duty of every parent to have many children, so that they can say proudly that they are graciously blessed by god.
- Family structure: Most of the Nepalese families are extended families except in some urban areas. Extended families get their young ones to motivate and support early marriage and encourage them to have many children resulting in high fertility. Besides, wives are encouraged to bear more children in order to have more strength within the family.
- Respect for elders: Nepal, like other developing countries, still has high value on the respect for elders. It has been a tradition to obey the elders even in a matter of child bearing practice. This practice, sometimes, leads to a large number of children especially in rural areas.
- Fatalism: Belief in fate is the way of life in the Nepalese society. People leave everything to fate whether it is success or failure. Even if success is achieved by a person after hard work, he/she appreciates fate. Likewise, if people have many children, they believe that it is their fate which provided them children.
- Taboos: Taboos are some practices which religion or custom regard as forbidden. For example, untouchability. Sometimes social taboos are not in favour of high fertility. Such taboos keep the males and females away from associations. Some of these are: -
- Prohibition of sex for a considerably long time after childbirth
- Prohibition of widow marriage
- Prohibition of sex before marriage
- Limits of marriageable age
Things to remember
- Birth is an important component mainly related to fertility in the study of population education.
- The biological factors affecting birth are related to conception and childbearing that may affect fecundity or fertility of a woman.
- Ovulation means the release of ovum by ovaries.
- Taboos are some practices which religion or custom regards as forbidden. For example, untouchability.
- It includes every relationship which established among the people.
- There can be more than one community in a society. Community smaller than society.
- It is a network of social relationships which cannot see or touched.
- common interests and common objectives are not necessary for society.
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Questions and Answers
Age is a factor affecting birth.
Fertility means the child bearing performance.
Fecundity refers to the biological and physiological capacity of reproduction of bearing child.
The following are the main biological factors which affect birth:
- Ovulation cycle
a. Age: Human beings become fecund at a certain age. Fecundity begins in women with the onset of menstruation. On average, women are considered fertile from 15 to 45 years of their age. But their fertility performances is not equality active throughout this period. Fertility grows highest in 25-39 age group. Then it begins to slow down gradually. In males too fertility performances is weaker as they grow older, there is not any sharp limit for them as in the female.
b. Health: Health affects all our activities. So, reproduction is also affected by the condition of health of a person. Those who are diseased and unhealthy cannot reproduce well or cannot give birth to a healthy baby. But fecundity is high in those whose healthy is properly maintained.
The following are the economic and socio-cultural factors affecting birth:
- Economic factors:
- Source of income
- Fulfillment of manpower
- Socio-cultural factors :
- God's blessings
- Family structure
- Generational respect
- Sources of income: Poor people consider their children as the source of income. They think that more children will more from different sources. So they produce many children as the only investment they can make.
- Family structure: In a joint family, there are many people of different generation. the burden of bringing up of a children is shared by many of them. So, the parents are encouraged to produce more children.
The psychological factors affecting birth are as follows:
Prestige of family:
- Prestige of family.
- Sense of completion
- Being a parent is the entire goal
The prestige of family depends upon the number of children and often upon that of son. In their attempts to maintain family prestige, people give birth to many children.Sense of competition:
Most of the Nepalese family is joint family. Any tow brother may have completion in bearing children because they have equal right to the share of their parents property. They can also compete with those others than the ones from their family.