Pregnancy spacing is mainly a matter of personal preference for a couple. When it comes to having a second child, there are not only physical, psychological, and economical considerations to look at, but also medical factors to think about. Research reveals that, on average, it takes roughly 18 months for a woman’s body to recover from the repercussions of childbirth. Experts believe that the foetus in the mother’s womb gets nutrients from the mother’s bones and blood for its own growth during gestation. During this process, the mother faces depletion of her own iron, folic acid, and calcium stores. Therefore, it is vital that the mother takes adequate supplements prescribed by the doctor during pregnancy and after delivery, especially till the time she is breastfeeding.
What Are The Main Risks?
Pregnancy within six months of a live delivery is linked to an increased risk of the following:
• Premature delivery
• Before delivery, the placenta partially or totally peels away from the uterus' inner wall (placental abruption)
• Low birth weight
• Congenital issues
• Anaemia in the mother
“If the subsequent pregnancy happens too soon, say within six to eight months post-delivery, research shows there are increased chances of premature and intar-uterine growth retarded babies,” warns Dr Neena Bahl, Director - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Fortis La Femme. She also mentions that it can lead to increased chances of placental abruption, that is, premature peeling off of placenta from the uterus wall.
Factor In Depletion Of Nutrient Reserves
With two consecutive pregnancies and childbirths, mothers can become anaemic, which can lead to backache due to calcium depletion. In case of folic acid deficiency, both the mother and the baby’s health can be affected.
How Soon Is Too Soon?
“As the average age of getting married goes up, the concern of spacing pregnancies is valid, especially when the woman is over 30. A minimum of 18 months should be a good idea between two pregnancies. In case the patient has delivered by caesarean section, the scar also heals within this time. Dr Bahl concludes by saying that if at all a couple conceives in a short inter-pregnancy interval despite taking precautions, they should support the pregnancy by taking the prescribed supplements and dietary advice for an optimal maternal and perinatal outcome.
Also Read: Prenatal Testing: The Mandatory Tests For Your Baby During Pregnancy