Document Detail

Breastfeeding, contraception, and birth intervals in developing countries.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  4012819     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Numerous studies have demonstrated a strong correlation between breastfeeding and the duration of amenorrhea and between breastfeeding and the birth interval at the individual level. In the present study, both these correlations are shown to hold at the national level, in developing countries. In countries where the median durations of breastfeeding are relatively long or the rates of contraceptive use are relatively high, median birth intervals are longer than in countries where the median breastfeeding durations are shorter and contraceptive use is less widespread. In countries where fertility is moderate or high, however, the incidence of very short birth intervals is higher when median breastfeeding durations are relatively short. The findings suggest that contraception as it is presently practiced is an inadequate substitute for breastfeeding.
Previous studies have shown, on an individual level, a correlation between breastfeeding with duration of amenorrhea and the birth interval. This study investigates these relationships at a national level. Birth interval effects of breastfeeding were evaluated through mathematical simulation of birth interval distributions and by regression analysis of women's individual closed birth interval distributions usins data from the 38-country World Fertility sample. Country averages were used to compare breastfeeding durations with birth interval duration and to evaluate birth interval effects from breastfeeding or contraception. Results showed that at the county as well as individual level, breastfeeding and breastfeeding/contraception durations are positively correlated with the length of the interval between births. The strongest correlation was shown for amenorrhea and breastfeeding. The implication is that a decline in breastfeeding and breastfeeding durations in developing countries will result in shorter intervals and hence, larger families if unchecked by contraception. Additionally, shorter terms of breastfeeding are correlated with higher frequencies of birth intervals under 18 months.
D P Smith
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Studies in family planning     Volume:  16     ISSN:  0039-3665     ISO Abbreviation:  Stud Fam Plann     Publication Date:    1985 May-Jun
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1985-08-09     Completed Date:  1985-08-09     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7810364     Medline TA:  Stud Fam Plann     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  154-63     Citation Subset:  IM; J    
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MeSH Terms
Birth Intervals*
Breast Feeding*
Child, Preschool
Contraception Behavior*
Developing Countries*
Family Planning Services
Infant, Newborn
Postpartum Period
Time Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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