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Why Waiting at Least 18 Months between Pregnancies Is Important

Being in the process helps they say. I’ve just had a baby, already in the practice, why not have a second one? Parents; wrong assumption. The mother’s body has to undergo enormous levels of stress during the process of pregnancy and even more during and after birth.

It takes at least a span of 18 months (i.e. a year and a half) for the mother’s body to fully recover from the previous pregnancy to get ready for another one. If a couple gets pregnant anytime before those 18 months, the chances of having a preterm baby or a baby with low birth weight are high.

Let’s think of this from another point of view. You have a healthy baby against all odds and now have to raise two toddlers of about the same age group with a gap of about a year or so between them. It is very difficult task to raise one baby at a time, how easy do you think it’s going to be to actually raise two of them?


1. Psychological confusion

More often than not, parents start to view the first baby as the ‘elder one’ and hence start to assume that he or she should be the more responsible one. Parents fail to realize the tragic fact that despite being the elder child, the child is a baby, after all. A year or so does not make much of a difference in the child’s psychology. This leads to ignorance on the parents’ part of the elder child’s upbringing in about 67% cases.

2. Health is compromised

Getting pregnant again before a gap of at least 18 months also has adverse effects on the mother’s health. In a research conducted in Scotland in June 2010, primary outcomes of such pregnancies were noted. Most of these pregnancies ended in miscarriage, termination, stillbirth or ectopic pregnancy.

3. Complications

Ectopic pregnancy is a condition in which, the embryo attaches outside the uterus and starts growing inside one of the fallopian tubes. This leads to internal bleeding and death (of both mother and fetus) in certain cases. This condition poses a threat to the mother’s health as well as her life. Short inter pregnancies can also lead to maternal anemia. Anemia is a condition where the red blood cells’ count in the body of the mother reduces and she has breathing complications. The second pregnancy can be even more strenuous if the mother has unapproved habits such as smoking or drinking.

There are also chances of Autism in the second born child wherein the child faces impaired communication and social interaction. Autism spectrum disorder impacts the nervous system and affects the overall cognitive, emotional, social and physical health of the affected individual. This can lead to a vast gap between the mental and physical abilities of the first and the second child.


Therefore, it is only fair to both the mother as well as the unborn child to be given a fair chance at good health and a robust life. Rather than weighing your risks and positive options, it is better to wait for a while longer by keeping a gap of at least 18 months between the two pregnancies. After all, everybody bears the sweet fruits of patience!

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