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Open Access Research article

Association between pregnancy intention and optimal breastfeeding practices in the Philippines: a cross-sectional study1

Valerie Gilbert T Ulep1* and Maridel P Borja2

  • * Corresponding author: Valerie Gilbert T Ulep vgtulep@gmail.com

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City, Philippines

2 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health, University of the Philippines, Pedro Gil St., Ermita, Manila, Philippines

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2012, 12:69  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-12-69

Published: 23 July 2012

Abstract

Background

The effect of pregnancy intention on post-natal practices like breastfeeding is still poorly understood in the Philippines. In this light, this study aims to determine the association between pregnancy intention and optimal breastfeeding practices in the Philippines.

Methods

This is a cross-sectional study design using the 2003 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the independent association of pregnancy intention and optimal breastfeeding practices. The study includes 3,044 last-born children aged 6–36 months at the time of survey. Dead children were also included as long as their age of death satisfies the age criterion.

Results

Children born from mistimed pregnancies are more likely to have late breastfeeding initiation compared to children born from wanted pregnancies (OR = 1.44; 90%CI: 1.17-1.78). However, this occurs only among children belonging to households with low socio-economic status. Among children belonging to households with high socio-economic status, no significant effect of pregnancy intention on breastfeeding initiation was observed. Children born from unwanted pregnancies are less likely to have short breastfeeding duration (OR = 0.60; 90%CI: 0.48-0.76). However, this occurs only among children belonging to households with high socioeconomic status. No significant effect of pregnancy intention on breastfeeding duration was observed among children belonging to households with low socio-economic status.

Conclusion

The findings of this study suggest that there are different effects of pregnancy intention on the two types of optimal breastfeeding practices examined. With regards to breastfeeding duration, it was found that among infants belonging to high SES, the odds of having short breastfeeding duration is lower among children born from unwanted pregnancies compared to children born from wanted one. Conversely, children belonging to low SES household, the odds of having late breastfeeding initiation among children born from mistimed pregnancies are higher compared to children born from wanted pregnancies.