Does Pregnancy Intention Impact Breastfeeding Duration in India: An Insight from NFHS-3

Nalin Singh Negi, BBC Media Action

When a pregnancy comes sooner than desired or comes at a time when the mother had wished for no more children, the complexities associated with birth of that child are more likely to be perceived as complications. National Family Health Survey data (2005-2006) has been used to study the extent of association between pregnancy intentions and duration of breastfeeding. Pregnancy intention has been classified as pregnancies that are intended and unintended (mistimed or unwanted). A considerable percent (22 percent) of pregnancies in India are unintended. Hence, it becomes important to examine the impact of unintendedness on breastfeeding practises. However, it has been seen from the analyses that children born out of unintended pregnancies are more likely to have prolonged breastfeeding duration as compared to children born out of intended pregnancies. The KM curves prove this fact. Hence, pregnancy intention is not an important factor determining duration of breastfeeding in India.

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 Presented in Session P3. Fertility Intentions and Behaviors