As a family it is important to consider carefully when to try for a subsequent pregnancy. There are so many things to consider, such as the health of your previous baby, your financial and work commitments and your family goals.
New Curtin University-led research has recently called into question existing previous health advice that mothers wait a minimum of two years after giving birth to become pregnant again, in order to reduce the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm and small-for-gestational age births.
The research found that a World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation to wait at least 24 months to conceive after a previous birth may be unnecessarily long for mothers in high-income countries such as Australia, Finland, Norway and the United States.
Lead researcher Dr Gizachew Tessema from the Curtin School of Population Health said because the WHO advice was based on limited evidence from resource-limited countries, it was necessary to investigate whether the 15-year-old recommendation was relevant for higher-income settings.
So how long is safe to wait between Pregnancies
“We compared approximately 3 million births from 1.2 million women with at least three children and discovered the risk of adverse birth outcomes after an interpregnancy interval of less than six months was no greater than for those born after an 18-23 month interval,” Dr Tessema said.
“Given that the current recommendations on birth spacing is for a waiting time of at least 18 months to two years after livebirths, our findings are reassuring for families who conceive sooner than this.
“However, we found siblings born after a greater than 60-month interval had an increased risk of adverse birth outcomes.”
Dr Tessema said just as the current WHO recommendations are not age specific, the study’s results were not necessarily equally applicable to parents of all ages.
“Our next step with this research is to identify whether intervals between pregnancies affect the risk of adverse birth outcomes among women of different ages,” Dr Tessema said. I also think this is relivent as a Mother who gave birth at age 39 after spending 10 weeks in hospital , on bedrest. I often wonder, had I had my children in my early 30’s instead of my
I originally planned to fall pregnant when my first baby was 12 months old, and losing 3 angel babies before introducing baby 2 with a three year difference from my first baby, I feel no sense of hardship that my babies are further apart in age as they are the best of friends and always look out for one another. My losses were caused by Hashimotos disease which is onset in women a little later in life.This explains why my first pregnancy with my son was not effected by Hashimosos.
At the end of the day the decision to carry a baby may be by choice or a surprise, either way there is allot to celebrate with the safe arrival of a baby,
Dr Tessema is a perinatal and reproductive epidemiologist and conducted the study with senior author Professor Gavin Pereira, who are both from the Curtin School of Population Health and the new Curtin enAble Institute.
- Gizachew A. Tessema, M. Luke Marinovich, Siri E. Håberg, Mika Gissler, Jonathan A. Mayo, Natasha Nassar, Stephen Ball, Ana Pilar Betrán, Amanuel T. Gebremedhin, Nick de Klerk, Maria C. Magnus, Cicely Marston, Annette K. Regan, Gary M. Shaw, Amy M. Padula, Gavin Pereira. Interpregnancy intervals and adverse birth outcomes in high-income countries: An international cohort study. PLOS ONE, 2021; 16 (7): e0255000 DOI: 10.1371/JOURNAL.PONE.0255000
Cite This Page: Curtin University. “Recommended wait time between pregnancies challenged.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 July 2021. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/07/210719143421.htm>