How long do you really need to wait between pregnancies?

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Mothers are advised to wait at least a year between pregnancies. [Photo: Getty]

A new study has said mothers should wait at least a year after giving birth before falling pregnant with another baby.

The research, published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, found between 12 to 18 months is the perfect length of time between giving birth and getting pregnant again.

Yet current guidelines from the World Health Organisation say otherwise, recommending women wait at least 18 months before falling pregnant again.

Pradnya Pisal, consultant gynaecologist at London Gynaecologyexplains there are all sorts of reasons women may wait to recover between pregnancies, after the body has undergone a substantial change.

“A woman’s body changes hugely during a pregnancy and delivery,” say tells Yahoo Style UK. “It can take several months to recover from these changes and get the body (and mind) ready for another pregnancy.

“Ovarian function can also take up to a year to return to normal especially if breastfeeding.”

Pisal agrees with the latest research which advises a year between pregnancies – but says it is ultimately down to the individual.

“It is recommended that one takes at least a year after delivery before starting to try again. Closely-spaced pregnancies would be associated with higher risk of iron and vitamin deficiencies, anaemia and growth problems for the fetus.

“This is however an individual decision and some women may wish to leave less or more time before trying again”.

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