Objective: To examine the relationship between unintended pregnancies and prolonged breast-feeding among 18 countries on an individual and aggregated level.
Design and setting: Regional multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine this association based on 18 Demographic and Health Surveys conducted between 1995 and 2000.
Subjects: Women who had a live child between 13 and 36 months old were included in these analyses (n=41 353).
Results: Regression models were adjusted for 10 covariates including child age, maternal age, pregnancy status of mother at the time of interview and parity. In 11 out of the 18 countries the odds ratio (OR) of the association between unintended pregnancies and prolonged breast-feeding was <1.0, reaching statistical significance in three countries. Pooled analyses of all 18 countries detected a significant association between unintended pregnancies and less likelihood of prolonged breast-feeding (OR=0.90, 95% confidence interval=0.85-0.96).
Conclusions: Prospective studies are needed to further understand if and how pregnancy intentions influence breast-feeding outcomes in different settings.