ESTIMATION OF BIRTHS AVERTED DUE TO BREAST-FEEDING AND INCREASES IN LEVELS OF CONTRACEPTION NEEDED TO SUBSTITUTE FOR BREAST-FEEDING
a2 and MIRIAM H.
a1 Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
a2 Macro International, Calverton, MD, USA
a3 UNICEF, New York, NY, USA
After contraceptive use, breast-feeding duration is the major determinant of the birth interval length. Three methods of estimating births averted by breast-feeding, and the increase in contraceptive use needed to substitute for breast-feeding, are presented. Method 1 simply utilizes Bongaarts’ Ci, and the other two are based on mean birth intervals with and without breast-feeding. Estimates for each method are derived for six countries with DHS surveys from the mid-1990s: Burkina Faso, Uganda, India, Indonesia, Brazil and Peru. The estimated percentage of additional births that would occur if there were no breast-feeding ranged from 1–4% in Brazil to about 50% in Burkina Faso and Uganda, reflecting very low breast-feeding in Brazil and very high levels in the sub-Saharan African nations. Strengths and limitations of the three methods are considered.