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Thursday, March 26, 2009

HEALTH-PAKISTAN: Spacing Births for Mother and Child By Zofeen Ebrahim

''Birth spacing gives the woman time and opportunity to recover from the nutritional deficiency caused by repeated pregnancies. Studies show that short birth intervals of less than 24 months increase the risk of neonatal mortality,’’ says Dr. Sadiqua Jafarey, president of the National Committee for Maternal and Neonatal Health.

New research points to the benefits of having the first child late and spacing the next child until after three to five years. Curiously, it is women from the less affluent sections who are keen to follow these prescriptions.

One reason is that family planning (FP) programmes have, for years, been active among the lower-income communities, completely ignoring the educated and affluent who may be aware of hypertension, diabetes, heart problems and lifestyle ailments, but are often ignorant of the risks of poorly timed pregnancies.


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