Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 November 2000
This paper examines seasonal variation of births in a rural community of West Bengal, India, by exploring data from the 1992–93 National Family Health Survey. Suitable time series analyses were used to determine the seasonal pattern of births and to estimate peaks. The trigonometric regression technique was used to carry out this objective. The study attempted to link the results of the regression analysis to the atmospheric temperature of the region during 1987–91, the distribution of respondents’ husbands’ occupations and the marriage pattern of the community. It was found that, in the study population, conceptions were numerous in the first quarter of a calendar year and the distribution of conceptions over calendar months was negatively associated with the average monthly temperature. In addition, the marriage pattern of the community and the occupational distribution of the fathers also had a significant effect on the distribution of births over calendar months. It is hoped that the findings will boost the development of needs-based maternal and child health (MCH) and family planning programmes in the community.
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