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Popul Stud (Camb). 2003;57(1):77-93.

Do unintended pregnancies carried to term lead to adverse outcomes for mother and child? An assessment in five developing countries.

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London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


This paper investigates whether children later reported as having been unwanted or mistimed at conception will, when compared with children reported as wanted, show adverse effects when the following criteria are applied: receipt of antenatal care before the sixth month of gestation, supervised delivery, full vaccination of the child, and child growth (stunting). The study uses data from five recent Demographic and Health Survey enquiries in Bolivia, Egypt, Kenya, Peru, and the Philippines. In Peru, children unwanted at conception were found to have significantly worse outcomes than other children, but in the other countries, a systematic effect was found only for receipt of antenatal care. Weak measurement of the complex concept of wantedness may have contributed to these results. Birth order of the child, with which wantedness is inextricably linked, has more powerful and pervasive effects, with first-born and second-born children being much less likely to show adverse effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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