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Contraceptive Use Dynamics in Zimbabwe: Postpartum Contraceptive Behaviour


Sambisa, William & Curtis, Siân L. (1997). Contraceptive Use Dynamics in Zimbabwe: Postpartum Contraceptive Behaviour. Calverton, Md.: Macro International Inc..


This analysis examines the postpartum initiation of contraceptive use in Zimbabwe and its relationship with breastfeeding, postpartum amenorrhoea, and postpartum abstinence. The analysis utilizes longitudinal data collected in the monthly calendar of events of the 1994 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS). Contraceptive use is widespread following recent births in Zimbabwe: nearly 80 percent of mothers start using a contraceptive method within two years following a birth; Contraceptive initiation is concentrated in the early postpartum period with 65 percent of mothers initiating contraceptive use within six months postpartum. At the same time, breastfeeding is almost universal and prolonged. The median duration of breastfeeding is 18.7 months and 88 percent of mothers are still breastfeeding at 12 months postpartum. The median duration of postpartum amenorrhoea is 11.5 months, consistent with the long duration of breastfeeding. In contrast, the median duration of postpartum abstinence is much shorter at only 3.9 months.

Reference Type

Edited Book

Year Published


Series Title

Zimbabwe Further Analysis


Sambisa, William
Curtis, Siân L.