Study says mothers should wait at least a year between pregnancies
Women should wait a year between pregnancies, says new research
Women should wait a year between pregnancies to reduce health risks to both mother and baby, says a new study. The news will be reassuring to older parents, who don't want to wait the current recommended 18 months advised by the World Health Organisation.
Small gaps between pregnancies lead to greater chance of premature births, smaller babies and infant and mother mortality, reports theBBC. Researchers also found that getting pregnant less than 12 months after giving birth was associated with risks for women for all ages.
"Older mothers for the first time have excellent evidence to guide the spacing of their children," said senior study author Dr Wendy Norman.
"Achieving that optimal one-year interval should be doable for many women and is clearly worthwhile to reduce complication risks."
The study, conducted by University of British Columbia (UBC) and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, looked at 150,000 births in Canada. Researchers also found that women over 35 who conceived six months after a previous birth had a 1.2% risk of maternal mortality or harm (12 cases per 1,000 pregnancies), but waiting 18 months between pregnancies reduced the risk to 0.5% (five cases per 1,000).
"Our study found increased risks to both mother and infant when pregnancies are closely spaced, including for women older than 35," said the study's lead author, Laura Schummers.
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