Pregnancy, Postpartum and Time Use: How Does the Lifecycle Affect Women's Time Use in Developing Countries?

I-Heng Lee, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Amber Peterman, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Tia Palermo, CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR)
Shu Wen Ng, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Labor intensive work, such as agricultural subsistence, is often a way of life for women in rural areas of developing countries. This type of work requires physical exertion and may need to be continued through pregnancy and breastfeeding periods, which may result in poor health outcomes for both mother and infant. Using longitudinal data from China, Mexico and Tanzania, this paper provides evidence of the effect of being pregnant or breastfeeding on women’s time use. Four time use outcomes, measured in hours spent in the last week, are investigated with a fixed effects approach. With the exception of care giving, results indicate women do not alter time spent in physically demanding activities and may actually increase work during breastfeeding periods. This finding remains unchanged with a number of extensions and robustness checks, hence suggesting a need for a better understanding of programs designed to aid expectant mothers.

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Presented in Poster Session 5