Introduction: Despite various health programs and policies in the country, maternal health care service utilization by eligible women remains sub-optimal esp. in disadvantaged subsets of population. Aim and Objectives: The present study was conducted with an aim to assess the utilization of maternal health care services (ANC and PNC) and the factors influencing maternal health care utilization in urban slums of Lucknow. Materials and Methods: Study design- Cross Sectional. Study Area- Urban slums of Lucknow. Study Unit-Women who had delivered in the past one year. Study Period-July, 2014 to March, 2015. Sampling Technique - Simple random sampling. Sample Size-968 participants. Study Technique- Personal Interviews using a pre-tested, pre-structured questionnaire. Results: The study observed that utilization of maternal health care services was sub-optimal, few indicators being abysmally low like PNC visits (5%). Socio-demographic factors like education of women, religion and parity was found to be significantly associated with Maternal health care utilization. Discussion: Current study re-emphasized that utilization of maternal health care services is affected by multiple socio-demographic factors like maternal education, religion and parity of women. Education increases awareness about health, availability and accessibility of services and help develop the confidence while religious faith also decides the utilization of services. Conclusion: The better utilization of the maternal health services can be achieved by overall socio-economic development including focus on women empowerment and education, focus on religious norms and faiths in the health policies. Recommendations: Policies and programs focusing on education of community especially women and girls and incorporation of opinions of religious bodies could be an appropriate strategy.
Key words: Maternal Healthcare, Ante-natal Care, Post-natal Care, Utilization.