Does mothers' pregnancy intention affect their children's preventive and curative care in India? Evidence from a longitudinal survey

Poulomi Chowdhury, Mausam Kumar Garg, Md Illias Kanchan Sk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

To assess the effect of unintended births on preventive and curative care of children and their nutritional status. The study uses a cross-sectional prospective design. Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS) data of two rounds were used in this study. Women data file was used to draw a representative sample of 3905 children who belong to under 5 years of age group. We categorised birth as an unintended birth if the mother did not want to have an additional child at IHDS-I but gave birth during the intersurvey. Furthermore, all births exceeding to the desired number of children reported by mothers in the IHDS-II were also included in unintended births. Multivariate logistic regression models were applied to analyse the effect of unintended births on child immunisation and exclusive breast feeding, while multivariate linear regression models were used to assess the effect of childbearing intention on child nutritional status. The study shows that by controlling other factors, children from unintended births were less likely to be exclusively breast fed (OR 0.885, 95% CI 0.792 to 0.990, p<0.05) and receive full immunisation (OR 0.830, 95% CI 0.739 to 0.931, p<0.001). Moreover, poor nutrition was more prevalent among children from unintended births as they were more likely to be stunted and underweight. The study confirmed the adverse effects of unintended pregnancy on children’s preventive and curative care. The findings of the study underscore the importance of formulating policies on more affordable, accessible and available means of family planning to reduce the unintended births.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere042615
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2021

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