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The Impact of Pregnancy Intention on Breastfeeding Duration in Bolivia and Paraguay
Authors: Carrie K. Shapiro-Mendoza, Beatrice J. Selwyn, David P. Smith, Maureen Sanderson
Source: Studies in Family Planning, 38 (3), 198–205
Topic(s): Breastfeeding
Child feeding
Fertility preferences
Postnatal care
Reproductive health
Women's health
Country: Latin American/Caribbean
Published: SEP 2007
Abstract: Research has demonstrated that prolonged duration of breastfeeding promotes child survival. This study examines the impact of unintended—mistimed or unwanted—pregnancy on breastfeeding duration. We use data from the 1990 Paraguay and 1994 Bolivia Demographic and Health Surveys and restrict our analysis to last-born, surviving children younger than 36 months from singleton births. To assess the association, unintended and intended pregnancies are compared by calculating incidence rates and adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) using survival analysis. Most children (approximately 95 percent) were breastfed initially, but the median duration of breastfeeding in Bolivia was five months longer than that in Paraguay (19 versus 14 months). A greater proportion of pregnancies were described as intended in Paraguay than in Bolivia (74 percent versus 45 percent). In adjusted analyses, unwanted and mistimed pregnancies were associated with slightly longer duration of breastfeeding (aHR = 0.9) than were intended pregnancies, but the association was not statistically significant. In this study, therefore, pregnancy intention was not an important factor in duration of breastfeeding in Bolivia or Paraguay.