Result of a study: Short successive pregnancies carry risk

Vancouver Some women over 35 also want to have more children. Canadian researchers also recommend that younger women take a minimum break between two pregnancies. However, the interval between two pregnancies is shorter than with older recommendations.

According to one study, there should be a break of at least one year between a birth and a new pregnancy. “Our study found an increased risk for both the mother and the baby when pregnancies are closely consecutive,” said lead author Laura Schummers of the University of British Columbia. “The findings are particularly important for older women because they tend to pregnancies with short pauses and are often aware of this”. The study, published in Jama Internal Medicine, evaluated over 148,000 pregnancies of over 123,000 women in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

According to the study, 1.2 percent of women over the age of 35 who became pregnant again less than six months after giving birth suffered serious complications or in some cases even died before, during or not long after the birth. A break of at least 18 months reduced the risk to about 0.5 percent. Younger women between 20 and 34 did not have this increased risk. On the other hand, the risk of a premature birth was even higher for you if you were pregnant again very soon.

However, the study could also encourage women who wish to have children to plan another child earlier. In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended waiting 24 months after pregnancy.

In their study, Schummers and her colleagues recommend an “optimal interval between pregnancies” of about 18 months, with a margin between 12 and 24 months.

Despite the increased risk, a short break from pregnancy could be a “rational decision”, write researchers Stephanie Teal and Jeanelle Sheeder in a commentary on the study. The age of mothers has risen due to their career opportunities. “Clinicians should understand that women over the age of 35 may want more children than recommended or may want to give birth earlier. The risks have to be weighed up.

The average age of women in Germany at the birth of their children has risen in recent decades, from 27.9 years in 1991 to 31.2 years in 2017.

According to the University of British Columbia, the reasons for the complications were not investigated. According to the study, women who became pregnant again after less than six months were also most likely to come from low-income residential areas, were least likely to take care of prenatal care and were most likely to smoke during pregnancy.

Young women, in particular, might be affected by successive pregnancies that indicate that they are unplanned, said co-author Sonia Hernandez-Diaz. “Whether the increased risks are due to our bodies, which cannot recover from a timely pregnancy, or to factors associated with unplanned pregnancies, such as inadequate prenatal care, do not change the recommendation,” she said. Access to contraceptives after childbirth should be facilitated. Women should avoid unprotected sex with men in the postpartum period.

Photo by Kewei Hu on Unsplash

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