Raising a single kid is a hectic affair these days with exuberant school fee structures, overcharged delivery expenses and the increasing financial costs. Parents either don’t want to plan for a baby forever or most of them wish to just stop with one owing to personal choices or health conditions of the mother. Experiencing the pain of childbirth too plays a vital role in this. This decision might suddenly seem unfair to you once your child grows up a little and feels lonely looking at his/her friends and their siblings, family might pressurize you to go for a second one or you might be the sole reason for the change in your own decision. Once things settle down and you decide to plan for a second baby the first question that comes to your mind is the ideal time gap between two pregnancies.
Ball is in your Court
I am sure that most of you reading this article are blessed with siblings and your age difference is anywhere between 2-5 years. Defining age gap between pregnancies is purely your choice and you need to decide after considering various factors foremost of which is the mother’s health before choosing the right time for your next bundle of joy. Two things: to decide to have a second baby and timing the second pregnancy, both are in your hands but none of it must be at the cost of the mom’s health.
Couples plan their first child with utmost caution leaving a gap of even five years after marriage before settling the family way. Some couples plan the number of children, time gap between every two kids and carry it out perfectly (if nature obliges so!) settling into marital bliss. Whatever your plan is, it is top-most priority to never compromise on the mother’s health. Every plan has its pros and cons. Pregnancies that are too closely or too distantly spaced carry their own set of resulting consequences.
All is Well that Ends Well
If your babies just have a gap of 12 months or 18 months there is no chance of sibling rivalry that exists as the prime cause of fight and jealousy among siblings. Rather, they might be best friends sharing a strong bond and having similar wavelengths due to minimal age difference. All these advantages are countered by the disadvantages it imposes on the mother’s health. The mom’s sleepless nights double, responsibility increases two-folds as both the kids are small unable to attend to their needs by themselves and such a less gap might even result in preterm deliveries and low-birth-weight infants.
Couples who space their pregnancies two years from each other are doing a good job with their planning as the first child is old enough to express his/her needs and the mom would have almost recovered from her previous pregnancy. Pregnancies planned with three years gap are even better as the first kid becomes old enough to be quite independent, mom’s health is 100% fine and she can attend to both the kids needs as their requirements are completely different from each other. Waiting for more than five years is again a pain as research shows that it increases the mother’s chances of developing health problems, especially in those women who are of an older age. Paternal age too decides a healthy pregnancy and if you are surprised by this statement, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com for more details.
Not Too Less, Not Too More
WHO guidelines recommend not less than 24 months before getting pregnant with the second child. In worse cases, there must be at least 18 months difference maintained. But a new research suggests changes that one need not wait as long as 18 months before getting pregnant and its enough to just wait for a year between giving birth and getting pregnant again. This comes as a welcome relief to many women over the age of 35 planning to go the family way. This study shows that time gap between 12-18 months is more than enough time to giving birth and getting pregnant again. Risk of premature labor and maternal mortality dropped significantly once the woman spaced her pregnancies 12-18 months apart, according to the study. Pregnancies that have a very short spacing either are unplanned or are planned purposefully by older women. Within the stipulated time gap it is up to the mother to use contraceptives wisely and abstain from pregnancy.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.