U.S. researchers are warning that as many as 30% of women who give birth have too short an interval between pregnancies, which can be very risky for the health of the baby and the mother. What might be the consequences of getting pregnant too soon after giving birth?
Do Polish women plan their pregnancies?
Dr Rutkowski, head of one of Silesia’s gynaecological-obstetrics departments, stated that the majority of Polish women do not plan their pregnancies, only get pregnant – as many as 9 out of 10 pregnancies are unplanned. In his career he encountered cases, where a woman had another pregnancy already 3-4 months after giving birth. One of the reasons for this state of affairs is that many women believe that by breastfeeding they will not get pregnant.
Breastfeeding is not a form of contraception
In Poland, there is a false myth that you can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding. Young breastfeeding mothers willingly use this false information. The fact is that prolactin inhibits ovulation, that is female fertility, but about a month after the birth its level stabilizes and a woman can get pregnant again.
Pregnancy is a big burden on the body
Every pregnancy is a heavy burden on the woman’s body, even when there are no complications. The fetus is treated by the woman’s body as an additional organ to be maintained, so blood circulation increases by 50% and heart rate increases from 70 to about 85 beats per minute. Lung capacity increases by as much as 50%.
During pregnancy, the concentration of progesterone increases, which relaxes the digestive system (therefore, the pregnant woman’s diet must not lack fiber). The uterus increases its weight 10 times, putting pressure on other internal organs. The pregnancy belly deepens the lordosis of the lower spine; hence the bent posture.
A woman’s body takes a huge strain during pregnancy, so it is important to regenerate it properly before getting pregnant again. If conception occurs too soon, it is often a straight path to various complications.
Consequences of a small gap between pregnancies:
- risk of premature birth,
- increased risk of fetal demise,
- placental abruption,
- postpartum depression.
When to get pregnant again after childbirth?
Studies conducted by gynecologists indicate that the minimum time between childbirth and becoming pregnant again is 12 to 18 months, depending on the form of delivery. Currently, WHO recommends a minimum interval of 24 months between childbirth and becoming pregnant again.
A study found that in women over 35 who had another pregnancy 6 months after delivery, as many as 12 in 1,000 of them had postpartum complications or died from complications. The extended time to 18 months postpartum reduced that number to 5 cases per 1,000.
Another pregnancy after a cesarean?
Gynecologists recommend that if the birth took place by cesarean section, you can not rush to expand the family. It is best to wait 1.5 to 2 years with another pregnancy, then the scar on the uterus will become strong enough for a woman to get pregnant without any problems.
The decision about another pregnancy should be made after consultation with a gynecologist.
Main photo: Josh Willink, source: pexels.com