Author(s): Dibaba Y
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: Short birth intervals and unintended pregnancies pose serious health risks to mothers and their infants by causing unnecessary high risk of pregnancy related complications and self induced abortions. The objective of the study was to assess the child spacing and fertility planning behavior of women in Mana district, Jimma zone. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted from July 18 - August 17, 2008 on 645 women who had a live birth in the three years prior to the survey. A simple random sampling technique was used to identify eligible women. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used for data collection. Data were analyzed using SPSS for windows version 15. Frequency distributions, cross-tabulation, and logistic regression analysis were performed. RESULTS: Analysis of birth intervals for women with non first births showed that 27\% of births occurred within less than 24 months after a previous birth, showing that a considerable proportion of births were not adequately spaced to promote maternal and child health. About 39\% of women reported that their recent pregnancy was unintended. Women with unintended pregnancy are more likely to be illiterate (OR=1.85,95\%CI,1.23-2.79), have four or more living children(OR=2.77,95\% CI,1.77-4.33), had a previous birth interval of less than 24 months(OR=1.78,95\% CI(1.19-2.69), have never used contraception (OR=4.53, 95\% CI, 3.05-6.75) and did not desire any more children (OR=1.84, 95\% CI, 1.23-2.76). CONCLUSION: The study showed that an inadequate child spacing and high level of unintended pregnancy among considerable proportion of the study population. Unintended pregnancy and short birth intervals can pose serious health risks to mothers and their infants by causing unnecessary high risk of pregnancy related complications. Thus, improving access to safe and voluntary family planning counseling and services is essential to reduce the high level of unintended pregnancy and short birth intervals.
This article was published in Ethiop J Health Sci
and referenced in Journal of Womens Health Care