Timing your second baby: Is there an ideal pregnancy gap?

Every couple wants to have a healthy pregnancy, but a healthy pregnancy needs the right pregnancy gap. We've an expert to answer how safe it is to conceive soon after delivering a baby.
A happy pregnant woman
What's the best pregnancy gap to maintain? Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 19 Aug 2022, 16:20 pm IST
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As they say, there’s never a ‘right time’ for a pregnancy – it’s sometimes a matter of choice and sometimes, of chance! While the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises against getting pregnant within 6 months of giving birth to your little one, if you happen to do so, you should just be aware of the risk factors of short interval pregnancy and how to manage them.

Actors Debina Bannerjee and Gurmeet Choudhary, who welcomed their first child, a daughter whom they named Lianna, on April 3, 2022, are expecting again! They made the joyful revelation about embracing parenthood once again, just four months after their daughter’s delivery.

“Few decisions are divinely timed and nothing can change that…this is one such blessing..coming soon to complete us,” read Debina’s Instagram post on their Baby No. 2. During an ‘ask-me-anything’ session, when a user mentioned, “Ma’am as in your first preg you face a lot of problems don’t you think you should wait for at least one year for the second baby (sic)?”, Debina asked, “What is your suggestion in such a situation I call miracle? ABORT?”

Well, if you are curious about the right pregnancy gap, let us share some expert views.

Planning or awareness should involve knowing the effects it could have on the mother’s body and every effort must be made towards a healthy pregnancy.

To understand all about short interval pregnancy, Health Shots got in touch with Dr Sangeeta Gomes, Consultant – Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Sarjapur, Bengaluru. She explained the risk factors of a short interval between pregnancies and what’s the right pregnancy gap.

Dr Gomes says, “Spacing between pregnancies is an essential part of family planning. Closely spaced pregnancies can negatively affect the health of the mother and the baby. If you are planning to have another baby, you should know how spacing is associated with healthy pregnancies.”

pregnancy gap
Debina and Guru recently announced their second baby is on the way. Image courtesy: Debina Bannerjee | Instagram

What are the risk factors associated with closed spaced pregnancies?

Spacing between pregnancies is an essential part of family planning because it allows the mother to recover and prepare her body for another child. Close-spaced pregnancies can have negative consequences on the health of the mother and the child. Here are some risk factors associated with it:

  • Premature birth
  • Congenital disorders
  • Low birth weight
  • Maternal Anemia
  • Placental abruption

Dr Gomes says, “Apart from this, these kinds of pregnancies are closely associated with the increased risk of autism in the second-born children. Pregnancies spaced less than 12 months have the highest chances of developing such symptoms.”

In addition, closely spaced pregnancies and breastfeeding can deplete a mother’s nutritional reserves, which may have an impact on both your and your child’s health.

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How long should a couple wait?

Before you plan to have another child, make sure the mother’s body has properly recovered from the previous pregnancy. Dr Gomes says, “To prevent pregnancy complications or other health problems, it is suggested a spacing period of 18 to 24 months should be taken. The spacing period should be less than 5 years, and couples over the age of 35 years should consider 12 months of spacing between pregnancies.”

pregnancy gap
There should be a right gap between pregnancies. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Choosing when to have the first baby or second, is a personal choice. This should be discussed between you and your partner. And if you’re in good health, feel ready, and your doctor approves of you based on their assessment of your general health, you need not wait two years to conceive after delivering a baby. But make sure you carefully weigh all the advantages and disadvantages.

What should you keep in mind to ensure a healthy pregnancy?

To ensure that your body is healthy enough for another pregnancy, you should see a doctor before you consider conceiving again. During this time, you should also be monitoring your diet as well as your physical and emotional well-being. If you want to have a healthy pregnancy, getting prenatal care is crucial and effective because it gives you the support and direction you need.

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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