A recent study found that pregnancy immediately after birth is associated with increased risk of premature birth, the birth of a dead child, and even death of the mother at birth.
The results of the study recommend that women leave a 12-18 month interval between consecutive pregnancies, with the aim of reducing the risk to both the child and the mother.
The researchers reviewed data on about 150,000 pregnancies in Canada to check the relationship between consecutive pregnancy intervals and the risk of problems during pregnancy and childbirth, and whether it related to the age of the pregnant mother or not.
The authors found that leaving a 12-month interval between consecutive pregnancies was associated with a small increase in the risk of premature birth, the birth of a lower-weight child, and the death of the child or mother. The researchers did not see any effect on maternal age.
It is worth noting that the researchers did not prove that the short interval between successive pregnancies is directly responsible for those risks. Further studies are needed to investigate this.
The researchers note that a second pregnancy after less than 18 months of the first pregnancy should not push the pregnant mother to worry too much, the risk of complications because of this remains a small possibility.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Harvard University School of Public Health and the University of British Columbia, Canada, and was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association JAMA International Medicine .
Source: British National Health Service (NHS)