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profile picture of Linda Burke-Galloway, MD, author of The Smart Mother’s Guide to a Better Pregnancy
Linda Burke-Galloway, MD, author of The Smart Mother’s Guide to a Better Pregnancy

What's the Ideal Spacing Between Children?

I’m trying to conceive my second baby. I was wondering if there’s really an ideal time to space out your pregnancies.

Everyone has her own opinion about how long to wait until trying again. Some say it’s easier to raise children as close in age as possible, and others would rather get one tot out of diapers before putting another one in. Of course some would rather stop with one altogether!

At a minimum, experts recommend waiting at least 12 to 18 months before having another baby. Your body needs time to recover from the many changes it’s undergone during pregnancy, from fluctuating hormones to increased fluid levels. One study found that women who conceive less than six months after giving birth had a 40 percent increased risk of delivering their baby early and a 61 percent increased risk of delivering a baby with low birth weight. In addition, those who waited more than five years also had an increased risk of early delivery. Talk to your partner about what you think will work best for you and your soon-to-be-growing family.


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