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Pregnancy Waiting Period

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    When to have another child is a personal choice and sometimes it’s not entirely within your control. What’s more, women starting their families well into their thirties may not have the luxury of waiting too long to get pregnant again since their chances of success diminish with age. Even so, health-wise it’s better to recover from one pregnancy and childbirth before embarking on the next for you and your babies. A 2006 review of many studies in this area has shown a significantly higher risk of prematurity and low birth weight in babies conceived within six months, compared to babies conceived within 18 to 23 months, of a previous birth. These risks were still evident for babies conceived within 7 to17 months of the previous birth, although to a lesser extent than those conceived within six months. If you aim for an 18 to 23 month gap between pregnancies you’ll have time to recover your energy and replenish your body’s resources.


    Studies have also shown that women who conceive less than six months after giving birth may have a higher risk for complications such as a ruptured uterus or a premature or low-birth weight baby. You’ll need some time to adjust to your new life as a parent, too, before you add another baby into the mix. By giving yourself plenty of time to heal and to get acclimated to parenthood, you’ll give your next baby the best start in life. That said, if you do get pregnant less than 18 months after a c-section, don’t panic. Taking at least an 18-month break between births is a guideline designed to reduce your risk of complications, but many women get pregnant sooner and do just fine. In fact, if you’re in your late 30s, it might make more sense to begin trying to conceive nine to 12 months after having a c-section. It’s not uncommon for women over 35 to have trouble getting pregnant with the second baby, and the risk of having difficulty conceiving increases with age. The best time to get pregnant again can differ from woman to woman, so talk to your healthcare provider about your specific circumstances.

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