Timing pregnancies less than 18 months or more than five years apart could raise the odds of the second baby being born prematurely, at low birth weight, or small for gestational age. With too short an interval, researchers theorize, the problem may be that a mother’s body needs more time to recover from the stress and depleted nutrients of the first pregnancy. With longer spacing, the problem could be that fertility gradually declines after a woman delivers.
Some research (although limited) suggests that a pregnancy within 12 months of giving birth is associated with an increased risk of placental abruption or placenta previa in women who previously had a C-section.
While waiting may be ideal, we understand that not all women can wait 18 months before trying for another child. If you are thinking about having another baby, make sure you schedule a preconception checkup with your health care provider. The two of you can discuss any health concerns. Also, if you have had a premature baby, make sure you discuss ways to reduce your risk of having another premature birth. Together you and your health care provider can choose the best time for you to add to your family.