The loss of a pregnancy or a baby is one of the most difficult experiences. Whether you had a miscarriage, stillbirth or your baby died soon after birth, it’s normal to have mixed feelings about a future pregnancy. Some women may want to start trying getting pregnant as soon as possible, while others may prefer to wait. Will it happen again? – is a common question many women ask themselves when thinking about getting pregnant again.
Trying to get pregnant again after a baby’s death may be really stressful for you. Here are few things you can do:
- Share your feelings with your partner about getting pregnant again. Your partner may feel differently about getting pregnant again, but you and your partner are the only ones who can decide what’s right for you.
- Try to be hopeful. Remind yourself that every pregnancy and baby are different. Just because you’ve had a baby die doesn’t mean it will happen in your next pregnancy.
- If you work, talk to your boss about how to reduce the stress at your job.
- Talk to your provider or a counselor about ways you can reduce stress.
- Go to your preconception checkup to make sure you’re healthy. Being healthy when you get pregnant can help you have a healthy pregnancy.
- Eat healthy foods, drink lots of water and do something active every day. Try to get a full night’s sleep.
- Don’t smoke, drink alcohol or use harmful drugs.
How long to wait before getting pregnant again?
For most women, it’s best to wait at least 18 months (1½ years) from the end of one pregnancy before getting pregnant again. This gives your body enough time to recover before your next pregnancy.
Not all women can wait 18 months between pregnancies. Talk to your provider about how long to wait between pregnancies if:
- You’re older than 35.
- You’ve had a miscarriage or stillbirth. Miscarriage is when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Stillbirth is when a baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
When you’re ready to try again
The best thing you can do to help you have a healthy pregnancy next time is to take good care of yourself. Before your next pregnancy:
- Get a preconception checkup. This is a medical checkup you get before pregnancy to help make sure you’re healthy when you get pregnant.
- Take a vitamin supplement every day with 400 micrograms of folic acid in it. Folic acid is a vitamin that every cell in your body needs for healthy growth and development. If you take it before pregnancy and during early pregnancy, it can help protect your baby from birth defects of the brain and spine called neural tube defects, birth defects of the mouth called cleft lip and palate and some heart defects.
- Get to a healthy weight. Eat healthy foods and do something active every day. Talk to your provider about the right weight for you.
- Don’t smoke, drink alcohol or use harmful drugs. Talk to your provider if you need help to quit.
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