The Right Amount of Time to Wait Before Having Another Baby

bathTrying to figure out the best time to have another baby? The scientific community has something for you to consider. New research shows that women who wait less than 18 months to get pregnant again have a higher chance of having a premature baby, compared to mamas who wait longer. And women who wait less than a year to get pregnant again have twice the risk of delivering a premature baby. Babies who arrive before the 37-week mark may be at risk for numerous neurological disabilities, so it's certainly something worth considering. (In case you're wondering, 40 weeks is an "ideal" pregnancy, and 39 weeks is considered full-term.)

"The most significant birth risks are associated with the shortest birth intervals," says Emily DeFranco, who was involved with the University of Cincinnati study, adding, "We suggest that the obstetric care provider who sees the mother after the birth of her baby would counsel her on optimal birth spacing on her next pregnancy."

Great advice and all, but are women really going to take this into consideration when trying to plan their next kid? There's already so much to think about!

As we've heard time and time again, there's no ideal time to have a baby. And, as far as I'm concerned, that goes for second kids, as well. Sure, if you're incredibly young, healthy as a horse, and don't have to worry about money or work, you likely can "time" your kids for whenever you'd like. But for others, it isn't that easy. There are other things to consider, aside from waiting 18 months to avoid the possibility of premature birth. For instance, moms who had their first around or over 35 might not want to wait that long, as there are a whole host of complications that may arise from advanced maternal age. Which is the lesser of the two evils? (And let's be honest, many pregnancies aren't planned.)

The findings are certainly interesting and, if you're in the position, something to think about. But I can't see too many women out there who desperately want another baby to wait until the timer goes off at a year and a half. It just doesn't work that way. Sorry, science.

What's the spacing between your kids?


Image via Ernst Moeksis/Flickr

pregnancy health


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nonmember avatar adrien

my timing has entirely to do with the economy! we would love another but money is tight so we must wait.

nonmember avatar Laurie

adrien is right! when i can afford to pay for TWO in daycare is when i'll have another one!

Lucki... Luckicharmz

There's 5 years between all 3 of mine which is fantastic spacing in my mind. Only one in daycare/ diapers/ awake all night/ on moms hip at a time. it may be for some moms but you couldn't pay me to be in the "two under two" group

Queen... QueenB0513

Mine are 8 years apart to the day. Almost lol My daughter was born June 15, 2005 and my son was born June 14, 2013. I love it. I didn't intend to wait this long, I was thinking like 5 years, but I'm so happy with it this way.

Ebony83 Ebony83

I have four kids, 5,3,2, and 3 weeks. None of mine were born premature.

Zoras... ZorasMommy

I have two children. Ages 3 and 2. They are 25 months apart. Both of my chikdren were premature. I like how close they are but I will be waiting longer next time.

Ryans... RyansMommy7507

My 1st two are 12 months apart

Between 2 and 3 is 18 months

Between 3 and 4 is 23 months

Incog... IncognitoOne

My oldest and middle are 18 months apart. My middle was not premature...he was 4 days shy of 40 weeks, but it was a very scary pregnancy and recovery after pregnancy.

My middle and youngest are 4 years and 3 months apart. I was sick my whole pregnancy...I don't know if it was being older or the fact that she was a girl.

Cara Bjornlie

I have 6 boys, they are 9, 8, 8 (twins) 6, 5, 2...they only ones premature were my twins and that was only by 3 days...crazy yes but I wouldn't have it any other way, they all play so well with each other!

nonmember avatar kbmommy

Mine are 3 years 3 months and 10 days i waited this long because at year 5 we went thru a rough spot in our marriage. .Also I wanted my daughter to start pre school by the time the next came along..2 girls one 5 one almost 2. It's not the timing as much going from one to 2 that was a jolt to me..

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