This paper examines the interaction between contraceptive use and breastfeeding in relation to resumption of intercourse and duration of amenorrhea post-partum. We used data from the month-by-month calendar of reproductive events from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in Peru and Indonesia. The analyses show that breastfeeding women were less likely than non-breastfeeding women to have resumed sexual intercourse in the early months post-partum in both countries. In Peru, but not in Indonesia, breastfeeding women had a significantly lower odds than non-breastfeeding women of adopting contraception. Although the likelihood of contraceptive adoption was highest in the month women resumed menstruation in both countries, about ten per cent of subsequent pregnancies occurred to women before they resumed menses. These results emphasize the importance of integrating breastfeeding counselling and family planning services in programmes serving post-partum women, as a means of enabling those who wish to space their next birth to avoid exposure to the risk of a pregnancy that may precede the return of menses.
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