Birth-interval dynamics in rural Bangladesh and maternal weight

Abstract

This article reports on the results of a study conducted in rural Bangladesh on the influence of maternal weight on the components of birth intervals, including gestation and intrauterine mortality, the duration of postpartum amenorrhea, and the duration of waiting time to conception (the menstrual interval). When biological factors (in-cluding maternal age, parity, and supplementation practices) and behavioral variables, including religion, education, and occupation, were controlled, maternal weight was found to be related to the risk of intrauterine mortality and to the probability of resuming menses in the postpartum period. The implications of these findings for policies and programs in developing countries are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Becker, S. 1981. Seasonality of deaths in Matlab, Bangladesh. International Journal of Epidemiology 10:271–278.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Bongaarts, J., and H. Delgado. 1979. Effects of nutritional status on fertility in rural Guatemala. Pp. 107–134 in H. Leridon and J. Menken (eds.), Natural Fertility. Liege, Belgium: Ordina.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bongaarts, J., and R. G. Potter. 1983. Fertility, Biology and Behavior. New York: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Brown, K. H., A. D. Robertson, N. A. Aktar, and M. G. Ahmed. 1986. Lactational capacity of marginally nourished mothers: Relationships between maternal nutritional status and quantity and proximate composition of milk. Pediatrics 78:909–919.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Chen, L., S. Ahmed, M. Gesche, and W. H. Mosley. 1974. A prospective study of birth interval dynamics in rural Bangladesh. Population Studies 28:277–297.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Chowdhury, A. K. M. A. 1986. Maternal Malnutrition in Bangladesh. Unpublished manuscript, Johns Hopkins University, Institute for International Programs.

  7. Cox, D. R. 1972. Regression models and life tables. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Ser. B, 34:187–220.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Delgado, H., E. Brineman, A. Lechtig, J. Bongaarts, R. Martorell, and R. E. Klein. 1979. Effect of maternal nutritional status and infant supplementation during lactation on postpartum amenorrhea. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 42:303–307.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Delgado, H., A. Lechtig, E. Brineman, R. Martorell, C. Yarbrough, and R. E. Klein. 1978. Nutrition and birth interval components: The Guatemalan experience. Pp. 385–400 in W. H. Mosley (ed.), Nutrition and Human Reproduction. New York: Plenum.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Delgado, H., R. Martorell, and R. E. Klein. 1982. Nutritional lactation and birth interval components in rural Guatemala. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 35:1468–1476.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Elias, M. F., J. Teas, J. Johnston, and C. Bora. 1986. Effects of maternal care on lactation amenorrhea. Journal of Biosocial Science 18:1–10.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Frisch, R. E. 1985. Maternal nutrition and lactational amenorrhea: Perceiving the metabolic costs. Pp. 65–92 in J. Dobbing (ed.), Maternal Nutrition and Lactational Amenorrhea, Nestle Nutrition Workshop (Vol. 9). New York: Raven Press.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Glasier, A., A. S. McNeilly, and P. W. Howie. 1984. The prolactin response to suckling. Clinical Endocrinology 21:109–116.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Gray, R. 1983. The impact of health and nutrition on natural fertility. Pp. 139–162 in R. Bulatao and R. Lee (eds.), Determinants of Fertility in Developing Countries. New York: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Henry, L. 1953. Fondements théoriques des mesures de la fécondité naturelle. Review de L’Institut International de Statistique 21:135–252.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Hobcraft, J., and D. Guz. 1985. Lactation and Fertility: A Comparative Analysis. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Boston.

  17. Howie, P. W., and A. S. McNeilly. 1982. Effect of breast-feeding patterns on human birth intervals. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility 65:545–557.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Howie, P. W., A. S. McNeilly, M. J. Houston, A. Cook, and H. Boyle. 1981. Effect of supplementary food on suckling patterns and ovarian activity during lactation. British Journal of Medicine 283:757–759.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Huffman, S. L, A. K. M. A. Chowdhury, J. Chakraborty, and W. H. Mosley. 1978. Nutrition and postpartum amenorrhea in rural Bangladesh. Population Studies 32:251–260.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Huffman, S. L., A. K. Chowdhury, J. Chakraborty, and N. Simpson. 1980. Breastfeeding patterns in rural Bangladesh. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 33:144–153.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Huffman, S. L., K. Ford, H. A. Allen, and P. Streble. 1987. Nutrition and fertility in Bangladesh: Breastfeeding and postpartum amenorrhea. Population Studies 41:447–462.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Jain, A. K., A. I. Hermalin, and T. H. Sun. 1979. Lactation and natural fertility. Pp. 149–163 in H. Leridon and J. Menken (eds.), Natual Fertility. Liege, Belgium: Ordina.

    Google Scholar 

  23. John, M., J. Menken, and A. K. M. A. Chowdhury. 1987. The effects of breastfeeding and nutrition on fecundability in rural Bangladesh: A hazards model analysis. Population Studies 41:433–446.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Keys, A., J. Brozek, A. Henschel, O. Michelsen, and H. L. Taylor. 1950. The Biology of Human Starvation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Knauer, M. 1985. Determinants and correlates of the return of menstruation in nursing mothers following “natural motherhood.” Pp. 187–212 in V. Hull and M. Simpson-Hebert (eds.), Breastfeeding, Child Spacing: Anthropological Insights. London: Croom-Helm.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Lechtig, A., H. Delgado, R. Martorell, and R. Klein. 1979. Effect of maternal nutrition on the mother-child dyad. Pp. 74–93 in L. Hambreaus and S. Sjolin (eds.), The Mother/Child Dyad—Nutritional Aspects. Stockholm: Almquist & Wiksell.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Lunn, P. G. 1985. Maternal nutrition and lactational amenorrhea: The baby in the driving seat. Pp. 41–64 in J. Dobbing (ed.), Maternal Nutrition and Lactational Amenorrhea, Nestle Nutrition Workshop (Vol. 9). New York: Raven Press.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Lunn, P. G., S. Austin, A. M. Prentice, and R. G. Whitehead. 1984. The effect of improved nutrition on plasma prolactin concentrations and postpartum infertility in lactating Gambian women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 39:227–235.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Lunn, P. G., M. Watkinson, A. M. Prentice, P. Morrell, P. Austin, and R. G. Whitehead. 1981. Maternal nutrition and lactational amenorrhea. Lancet 198191:1329–1331.

    Google Scholar 

  30. McNeilly, A. S., A. Glasier, and P. W. Howie. 1985. Endocrine control of lactational infertility I. Pp. 1–24 in J. Dobbing (ed.), Maternal Nutrition and Lactational Infertility, Nestle Nutrition Workshop (Vol. 9). New York: Raven Press.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Menken, J., J. Trussell, D. Stempel, and O. Babokol. 1981. Proportional hazard life table models: An illustrative analysis of sociodemographic influences on marriage dissolution in the United States. Demography 18:181–200.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Mosley, W. H. 1979. The effects of nutrition on natural fertility. Pp. 83–106 in H. Leridon and J. Menken (eds.), Natural Fertility. Liege, Belgium: Ordina.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Pebley, A. R., S. L. Huffman, A. K. M. A. Chowdhury, and P. Stupp. 1985. Intra-uterine mortality and maternal nutritional status in rural Bangladesh. Population Studies 39:425–440.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Prema, K., and F. S. Philip. 1980. Lactational amenorrhea survey. Indian Journal of Medical Research 71:538–546.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Rochat, R., M. J. Jabeen, A. R. Rosenberg, A. R. Measham, A. R. Khan, M. Obaidullah, and P. Gould. 1981. Maternal and abortion related deaths in Bangladesh, 1978–1979. International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics 19:155–164.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Smith, C. A. 1947. Effects of maternal undernutrition upon the newborn infant in Holland (1944–45). Journal of Pediatrics 30:229–243.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Stein, Z., M. Susser, G. Saenger, and F. Martorell. 1975. Famine and Human Development: The Dutch Hungry Winter of 1944–1945. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Whitehead, R. D. (ed.). 1981. Maternal Diet, Breast-feeding Capacity, and Lactational Infertility. Tokyo: United Nations University.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ford, K., Huffman, S.L., Chowdhury, A.K.M.A. et al. Birth-interval dynamics in rural Bangladesh and maternal weight. Demography 26, 425–437 (1989). https://doi.org/10.2307/2061602

Download citation

Keywords

  • Amenorrhea
  • Birth Interval
  • Fetal Loss
  • Maternal Weight
  • Natural Fertility