How Long Should You REALLY Wait Between Pregnancies ? Maternal Health

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‘So, when are you thinking of having another one?’

This is a rather rude question that many new mums have been asked, often when their baby is barely a week old and they haven’t even got their head around breast-feeding yet.

Nosy friends and family aside, it does raise an interesting topic: is there a minimum amount of time you should allow for your own recovery after a baby, or should you ‘just go for it’ as soon as you feel ready to conceive again?

Few women realize that conceiving again within a short time of giving birth can result in physiological implications for both mum and baby.

According to scientific research, there can be an increased risk of pre-term labour if a woman conceives within 12 months of her previous pregnancy. A pre-term birth is categorized as delivery prior to 37 weeks gestation and does carry an increased risk of health complications. The neonatal intensive care units in India are moderately well equipped to deal with premature deliveries, but spacing out your pregnancies is a very simple way to minimize the risk of your baby being born early and experiencing potential health symptoms such as under-developed lungs, immune issues, digestive or skin problems.

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So how long should you wait before second pregnancy ?

It’s hard to give a definitive answer as every woman has a unique obstetric history. It’s important to bear in mind how your previous pregnancy and labour went, whether there were any complications during labour or in the post natal period, as well as your current health.

The generally accepted advice is that women should leave a minimum of 18 months between pregnancies but this can be difficult advice to follow if you are concerned about your age and would prefer to try to conceive again as soon as possible.

And moreover, it’s important to ask yourself if you feel physically ready for another pregnancy. If it took you a long time to conceive your first, it is understandable that you would be keen to start trying again, sooner rather than later, but if you are struggling with a baby that has colic, surviving on little sleep and feel like you have no energy, that isn’t a great place to start your next pregnancy from.

 

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