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L'intervalle de naissance ouvert raconte une histoire

The Open Birth Interval: A Resource for Reproductive Health Program and Women’s Empowerment by Ross and Bietsch was published in the Santé globale: Science et pratique journal. This post summarizes the article on the ways information on women’s timing and spacing of births can be used.

What is the Open Birth Interval?

“How long has it been since your last birth?"

Asking a woman this simple question determines the open interval—the period of time since her last birth.

L’intervalle de naissance ouvert révèle un schéma qui varie en fonction de l’âge de la femme, le nombre d'enfants vivants qu'elle a, sa résidence, et son niveau socio-économique. Plus important, the open interval could reveal a lot about her reproductive behavior, status, and contraceptive needs.

Jusqu'ici, very little empirical information on open birth intervals has been available. In a Santé globale: Science et pratique article, Ross and Bietsch assembled and analyzed data from 232 Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 74 des pays, allowing them to glean a wealth of information on women’s open birth intervals.

Une femme au Sénégal qui a participé à un programme d'autonomisation communautaire avec ses enfants près de chez elle. 2014, Jonathan Torgovnik / Getty Images / Images d'autonomisation
Une femme au Sénégal qui a participé à un programme d'autonomisation communautaire avec ses enfants près de chez elle. 2014, Jonathan Torgovnik / Getty Images / Images d'autonomisation

What Can We Learn from Data on Open Birth Intervals?

1. Demand for services among women at different intervals. Across the 74 countries analyzed, more than one-quarter of women are pregnant or have given birth in the last year. That means higher resource demands on antenatal care, pregnancy and delivery, and postpartum care services. This also affects supply demands, clinic loads, personnel needs, and budgets.

Regional variations in distribution of women by birth intervals shows the greatest contrast between countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 75% of women have a child under age 5, countries in other regions that have more than 52% of women with a child under age 5.

2. Demand for contraception and method choice. Contraceptive use and the type of method used shifts as women move through the different birth intervals. Women who use traditional and short-acting methods have the highest demand in the early intervals. As time goes on, women tend to choose longer-acting methods, such as IUDs, and in the final interval, the most common method is sterilization.

Women in Uganda from the Young Mothers Group meeting get family planning information from a community health worker. 2014, Jonathan Torgovnik / Getty Images / Images d'autonomisation
Women in Uganda from the Young Mothers Group meeting get family planning information from a community health worker. 2014, Jonathan Torgovnik / Getty Images / Images d'autonomisation

3. Intention to use a contraceptive method. Birth intervals are getting longer in many countries. Data from 56 des pays with multiple surveys showed that women in the first interval (pregnant or in the first year after birth) dropped from 33% à 27%; women in the final interval (plus que 5 ans) rose from 26% à 31%. Length of birth intervals changes a woman’s need to space or limit births and her intentions to use a contraceptive method.

4. Demand for other services. The age of a woman’s youngest child will affect her need for early child care services and essential primary health services for the child, such as immunization and nutrition.

Head nurse Margie Harriet Egessa conducts a checkup on a woman who recently gave birth at Mukujju clinic, Ouganda. 2014, Jonathan Torgovnik / Getty Images / Images d'autonomisation
Head nurse Margie Harriet Egessa conducts a checkup on a woman who recently gave birth at Mukujju clinic, Ouganda. 2014, Jonathan Torgovnik / Getty Images / Images d'autonomisation

How Can Programs Use Open Birth Interval Information?

Each part of the open interval distribution tells a story that programs can benefit from.

Lectures complémentaires

  1. The Open Birth Interval: A Resource for Reproductive Health Program and Women’s Empowerment (Published by the Santé globale: Science et pratique Journal)
  2. Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy (published by Knowledge SUCCESS)
Abonnez-vous aux nouvelles tendances!
Une femme au Sénégal qui a participé à un programme d'autonomisation communautaire avec ses enfants près de chez elle. 2014, Jonathan Torgovnik / Getty Images / Images d'autonomisation
Sonia Abraham

Rédacteur scientifique, Santé globale: Journal des sciences et de la pratique

Sonia Abraham est la rédactrice scientifique du Global Health: Science and Practice Journal et écrit et édite depuis plus 25 ans. Elle détient un baccalauréat en sciences biologiques de l’Université du Maryland et une maîtrise en écriture de Johns Hopkins.

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