The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is pregnant again, some 13 months after giving birth to her first child. But is it recommended that such a short time pass between two pregnancies?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that women wait two years between giving birth and getting pregnant again.
Consider that it is the necessary time that must elapse for the mother’s body to be ready to conceive a baby again.
However, it is a recommendation that it makes for developing countries where food and health conditions are very precarious.
In developed countries, where women eat a balanced diet and are healthy, the time could be less.
not less than 18 months
According to various studies on the birth interval (time between pregnancies) and perinatal complications, the optimal time is no less than 18 months.
Conceiving a child earlier is significantly associated with increased complications for both mother and fetus, such as preterm birth and low birth weight.
According to Dr. Jill Rabin Maura of Women’s Health Programs at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in New York, the uterus must be given time to recover, and couples time to incorporate the new replacement into the family.
For every month less than 18 months between pregnancies, the risk of preterm birth increases by 1.9%.
Pregnancy and lactation can decrease the body’s supply of iron and folate, which are important nutrients for mother and baby, says the Mayo Clinic.
Therefore, according to the center, becoming pregnant before these nutrients return to their normal levels would affect the mother or the health of the baby.
However, if a woman is in very good health, takes prenatal vitamins, and has access to good prenatal care, like Middleton, a 13-month separation «shouldn’t really be a problem,» Rabin said.
In addition to recovering physically, the mother also needs time to bond between mother and child.
If a mother becomes pregnant a few months after giving birth, she begins to share her affection and thoughts with the future baby and cannot fully focus on the child she already has, according to experts.
Ultimately, how couples decide to space their children is a couple’s decision.
There are those who prefer to have children as often as possible because they believe that it is better for them to share the first years of life, while on the other hand there are those who want to give all their attention to the older one for a few years before seeking a pregnancy again.
There are also those who do not plan as much and trust in destiny.