When children grow up, most parents start missing the sound of little footsteps or the scent of a newborn baby in their houses. The feeling can get heightened when a friend or close family gets a new baby too. When this starts happening, the urge to get another child can build up until the idea becomes irresistible.
How Long Should You Wait Before Getting Pregnant Again?
Doctors’ advice that mothers wait at least 18 months before getting pregnant again. This means that your last child will be at least 1 ½ years old. This duration is recommended because getting pregnant before then could increase the risks to your unborn child. These risks include;
- Premature birth– The shorter the duration the higher the risk of this. The real cause of this isn’t very clear but doctors say that it could be caused by;
- Your body hasn’t yet built up an adequate supply of nutrients like after your last pregnancy.
- The natural bacteria in the vagina may not be restored back to normalcy after a previous birth.
- Risk of low birth weight also increases
- Being small for gestational age is also a possibility.
The risks that the mother could encounter when conception happens in a short duration include:
- Third trimester bleeding
- Uterine rupture-Your body hasn’t fully recovered from possible inflammations such as endometriosis which has been known to cause premature rupture of membranes
- Mental issues- postpartum depression is more prevalent in mums who have a shorter duration between pregnancies.
What to Consider Before Getting Pregnant Again
The following areas cover what most couples consider before getting pregnant again:
- Finances- can we afford another child?
- Career development – Are we willing to put our careers on hold for the duration of having another child?
- Marital dynamics – have we figured out our dynamics since the last pregnancy?
- Is the decision to have another child unanimous? Is it agreeable to both Mum and dad?
- How will the siblings respond to a new addition to the family?
Having appropriate answers to this question should help you arrive at a sensible decision on whether to have another child.
What Can Couples Do to Ensure Adequate Spacing of Pregnancies?
Having the right spacing during your subsequent pregnancies is possible. Using effective family planning methods can go a long way in achieving this.
Adequate communication between partners can also help with this. Understanding each other and having the same goal in life while allowing the possibility that even with the best planning, sometimes controlling when conception happens is impossible will ease any pressure that may be felt when spacing.
Please note that development differs from one child to another.
Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.
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Last reviewed March 2019
Sources: marchofdimes, babycenter, foxnews, babyyourbaby