Child spacing means deciding on the time you would like to conceive your first pregnancy and the length of time to wait before having another pregnancy. It is one of the important components of family planning. It is important for couples to take child spacing methods very seriously as this can help to safeguard the life of the woman. Research has shown that allowing a period of 18 – 23 months between the birth of one child and the conception of the another, helps to preserve the health of the mother and her children. Conceptions that are not up to 18 months apart may have adverse effect on the health of mother and child.
The WHO states that women who have had 4 children or more are at a higher risk of maternal mortality.
Risk factors for short pregnancy/child spacing
- Premature or preterm birth: delivery of baby before 37th week of pregnancy.
- Low birth weight: The baby weighs less than 5 lbs. 8 oz.
- Small gestational size.
- Preterm or premature labor: Labor occurs less than the 37th week of gestation.
- The possibility of mother suffering from stress and postpartum depression is high.
- Rupture of the uterus
- Bleeding during the third trimester of pregnancy.
- Death of baby.
Child Spacing tips
Each pregnancy puts the body of the woman in a different condition. If child spacing is less than 18 months; especially if combined with breastfeeding during the second pregnancy, the body of the woman is drained of important nutrients like iron and folic acid. It may take more time for mothers to regain their normal weight, to begin or increase sexual activity, to boost their exercise and strength and to improve muscle tone; especially muscles of the pelvic floor and abdomen.
Experts have encouraged mothers to wait for at least a year or two before conceiving again. This enables their body to replenish lost nutrients that were lost during child birth and to allow the body organs to return to their normal state. It also enables new parents to have the energy and ability to focus on another child.
To effectively improve the result of pregnancy, couples should engage in communication and family planning methods to determine the right spacing and timing for pregnancy. Parents should effectively use the right and convenient birth control methods so as to avoid the occurrence of unwanted pregnancy, because fertility differs among women and can return few weeks or few months after delivery.
Although there is no absolute time for pregnancy, it is important for parents to be aware of the outcome of short pregnancy spacing and the importance of spacing pregnancy. This is to help them make a better and informed decision.