INTERPREGNANCY-INTERVAL
Pregnancy

How long should you wait between pregnancies

How Long Should You Wait Before Getting Pregnant Again?

If you want to get pregnant again and you wonder how long should you wait between pregnancies, this article is for you. Here is all you need to know about interpregnancy intervals – how long to wait between babies and why. 

Health experts advise women to wait at least 18 months between delivery and new pregnancy. This means that your baby should be at least one and a half years old before you become pregnant with another baby.

Why is it recommended to wait 18 months between pregnancies?

This time gives your body time to fully recover from your last pregnancy before you are ready for your next pregnancy and it reduces your risk of pregnancy complications.  

The time between the delivery and the new pregnancy is called birth distance, gestational age, and pregnancy interval (also called IPI).

What are the risks of spacing pregnancies too close together?

According to researches here are some of the risks:

  • The shorter the interval between pregnancies, the higher the risk of preterm birth. As mentioned above, your body needs time to fully recover from your last pregnancy before you can be ready for your next pregnancy.
  • Premature babies are more likely to have health problems than babies born on time, such as low birth weight, congenital disorders, and Schizophrenia. 
  • Placental abruption – This occurs when the placenta separates from the inner wall of the uterus before birth. Placental abruption can deprive the baby of oxygen and nutrients and cause heavy bleeding in the mother. 
  • Short intervals between pregnancies can cause maternal anemia. You can read more about anemia in pregnancy here.

It’s clear to see that it is best to wait at least 18 months between delivery and a new pregnancy.

What about breastfeeding and getting pregnant?

The question of how long should you wait between pregnancies often comes up when women are breastfeeding their newborns and starting to think about getting pregnant once again. Healing from childbirth, taking care of a newborn, producing breast milk, and breastfeeding every 2 to 3 hours requires a lot of energy. Can your body that supposed to recover and heal after delivery, get all the nutrients it needs to recover, produce good milk for the breastfed newborn, and grow another human in the bump? 

The truth is that it is possible to breastfeed while pregnant, but it may not be the right choice for everyone. There are some risks associated with breastfeeding while pregnant, so the first thing you should do is to discuss with your health care provider when planning to get pregnant while breastfeeding. 

How does pregnancy affect milk quality and supply?

Generally, breastfeeding while pregnant is safe. Though trace amounts of pregnancy hormones can be present in your milk, these are not harmful to your breast milk feeding child. Additionally, oxytocin is released in small amounts during a nursing session, so it is not enough to induce preterm labor.

Most mothers who are nursing through pregnancy notice a decrease in milk supply by mid-pregnancy, but sometimes as early as the first month. By about five months of your pregnancy, your breasts start to produce colostrum in readiness for your baby’s birth. Your toddler may not like the change in taste and drop in the quantity of milk, so you may find he weans himself off breastfeeding around this time. If he doesn’t self-wean, it’s fine for him to keep feeding.

In addition, as the pregnancy progresses, you’ll produce less breast milk because your body will, instead, devote resources to the growing fetus. Exactly how much less breast milk you will produce depends on many factors, such as how often you were breastfeeding before, your individual breast milk storage capacity, and the functioning of your glandular tissue.  

The risks of breastfeeding while pregnant

One of the risks is maternal anemia, which can increase your newborn’s risk of being underweight at birth. Therefore, breastfeeding may also not be advised for those at risk of preterm labor.  

Can breastfeeding cause miscarriage in early pregnancy?

The concerns were that breastfeeding could deprive the developing baby of nutrients, or that it could stimulate uterine contractions, but there is no conclusive evidence that this occurs. 

What can you do to help your body?

To help your body heal faster and get all the nutrients and vitamins it needs for breastfeeding while pregnant you need to eat well and healthy and take the right vitamin supplements such as prenatal vitamins and other supplements for breastfeeding mothers. This way you will make sure that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to recover after delivery, produce breast milk and maintain a healthy pregnancy. Make sure to read this post about the best prenatal vitamins for moms

How long should you wait between pregnancies – Best tips to get the necessary time between pregnancies:

This is what you can do:

  • Wait at least 18 months after birth before you become pregnant again. Give your body time to recover from your last pregnancy before you become pregnant again.
  • Use effective contraception (also known as contraception or family planning) until you are ready to become pregnant. Birth control prevents you from becoming pregnant.
  • If you are over 35 years of age or have had a miscarriage or stillbirth, ask your health care provider how long it will take to wait between pregnancies. Waiting for 18 months may not be right for you. A miscarriage is when a woman loses a pregnancy before 20 weeks. To avoid this situation you better consult your doctor.
  • The risks for newborns born less than a year after the birth of their siblings were women of all ages but were higher for mothers of 20 to 34 years. This age group had a risk of preterm birth of 8.5% if she was conceived less than six months after birth. Up to 3.7% if they had waited 18 months.

Related:

IS IT SAFE TO CARRY YOUR TODDLER WHILE YOU ARE PREGNANT?

WILL FEVER AFFECT MY UNBORN BABY?

PLACENTAL ABRUPTION: RISKS, CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, AND TREATMENT


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