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Breastfeeding as a Time-Varying–Time-Dependent Factor for Birth Spacing: Multivariate Models with Validations and Predictions
Authors: Singh R, Tripathi V, Singh K, Ahuja RK, Vani MK, Dwivedi SN
Source: World Health and Population, 13(3):28-51
Topic(s): Birth interval
Country: Asia
Published: APR 2012
Abstract: Data used in the present study are from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-I) 1992-93 (International Institute for Population Sciences 1995), India. Our study has developed Cox model analyses to see the effect of breastfeeding as a time-varying and time-dependent factor on birth spacing. While it is acknowledged that breastfeeding has a protective effect on birth spacing, such analysis of breastfeeding allows for a more nuanced understanding of that effect. Multivariate analysis revealed that breastfeeding, ever experience of fetal loss, education of women, employment status of women, education of husband, media exposure, survival status of index child and place of residence played an important part in extending birth space in at least one of the birth-spacing intervals (first to fifth). However, the variables varied from the first birth spacing to the fifth birth spacing. Breastfeeding is the only covariate found to be a significant protective factor associated with each birth spacing. Furthermore, this study validates the developed models with their prediction utilities for birth spacing.