Posts Tagged ‘birth spacing’

Getting healthy between pregnancies

Friday, May 8th, 2015

snugglingAre you getting ready to celebrate Mother’s Day? Flowers, handmade cards, and breakfast in bed are all lovely gifts. But one of the most important things that you can do as a mom is to give yourself the gift of a healthy pregnancy. If you are planning to have another baby sometime in the future, start now to make sure that your body is ready.

The interconception period is the time between the end of one pregnancy and the beginning of another pregnancy. This time between pregnancies allows you and your provider to address any risk factors that may have contributed to prior pregnancy complications, including premature birth, preeclampsia or gestational diabetes.

Here are some things to consider during the interconception period:

  • Birth spacing: Before getting pregnant again, it is best to wait at least 18 to 23 months. This gives your body time to recover from the previous pregnancy.
  • Preexisting medical conditions: Diabetes or high blood pressure can affect your pregnancy. Making sure these conditions are under control before you get pregnant again is very important. Now is the time to alter any medication dosages or change prescriptions completely. It is also the time to modify any lifestyle factors that may be contributing to your condition.
  • Weight: Trying to get to a healthy weight before pregnancy is very important. Being overweight or not weighing enough can affect your ability to conceive. And if you’re at a healthy weight before pregnancy, you’re less likely than women who weigh too little or too much to have serious complications during pregnancy.
  • Smoking: When you smoke during pregnancy, you pass harmful chemicals through the placenta and umbilical cord into your baby’s bloodstream. This can cause health problems for your baby. Being exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy can cause a baby to be born with low birthweight. And secondhand smoke also is dangerous to your baby after birth. Try to quit smoking before getting pregnant again.
  • Family history: Your family health history can help you and your provider look out for health problems that may run in your family and it may help to find the cause of any past pregnancy problems.
  • Getting enough folic acid: Finally, make sure you continue to take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. All women of child-bearing age, even if they’re not trying to get pregnant, should take folic acid. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects but only if taken before pregnancy and during the first few weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman may even know she’s pregnant. Because nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, it’s important that all women take folic acid every day.

All of us here at News Moms Need wish you a very happy and healthy Mother’s Day!

Questions?  Send them to AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Are you ready to have another baby?

Friday, December 12th, 2014

pregnant woman and toddlerEveryone has a different opinion about how far apart in age their children should be. Some people like to have their babies very close together, while others like a little more time between each child. But there may be more to consider than just personal preference. A recent study found that women who wait less than 18 months between pregnancies are more likely to give birth before 39 weeks.

The study found that mothers who had less time between pregnancies were more likely to give birth before 39 weeks when compared to women whose pregnancies were 18 months apart or more. Women with pregnancy intervals of less than 12 months were more than twice as likely to give birth prematurely (before 37 weeks) when compared to women whose pregnancies were at least 18 months apart.

“Short interpregnancy interval is a known risk factor for preterm birth, however, this new research shows that inadequate birth spacing is associated with shorter overall pregnancy duration” states  Emily DeFranco, Assistant Professor of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio and the Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and co-author of the study. She adds: “This study has potential clinical impact on reducing the overall rate of preterm birth across the world through counselling women on the importance of adequate birth spacing, especially focusing on women known to be at inherently high risk for preterm birth.”

So if you are thinking about having another baby, make sure you schedule a preconception checkup with your health care provider.  The two of you can discuss any health concerns you may have as well as the time between your pregnancies.  Also, if you have had a premature baby in the past, make sure you discuss ways to reduce your risk of having another premature birth.

Stopping birth control

Monday, August 6th, 2012

If you’ve been using birth control and are ready to have a baby, you’re going to stop using birth control one of these days. There are no hard-and-fast rules about how long you should wait to start trying to get pregnant after stopping birth control, but talk with your health care provider about what’s best for you.

You can begin trying right away. But if you don’t have regular periods, it may be more difficult to determine the right time for conception.
• If you’ve been on birth control pills, you may not have regular periods for a month or two after stopping the pills.
• If you take Depo-Provera, it can take from three months to one year to ovulate regularly after your last injection.
• If you have an IUD (intrauterine device) or implants, you can start trying to get pregnant as soon as you have the device removed.
• The barrier methods – such as condoms, diaphragms and spermicides – stop working as soon as you stop using them.

If you’re currently pregnant, be sure to discuss the best time to start birth control after you deliver. (It’s important to wait a few weeks after delivery before taking some pills.) You’ll want to be sure to give your body enough time to recover before having another baby. If you’ve recently had a new baby, ask your provider how long you should wait to get pregnant again. For most women, it’s best to wait at least 18 months. But some women can’t wait this long because of their age or other reasons. Talk to your provider about what’s right for you.

Thinking about another pregnancy?

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

thinking-about-a-babyYou may not be thinking about having another baby right now, but that might change in the future.  So it’s important to stay healthy for yourself, your family and in case you decide to get pregnant again.  Here are some things you can do:

– Leave time between pregnancies.  For most women, it’s best to wait at least 18 months before getting pregnant again.  This gives your body enough time to get ready for another pregnancy.  it also helps you adjust to life as a mom.  Babies are born healthier when there is plenty of time between pregnancies.  But not all women can wait that long because of their age or other factors.  Talk with your doc or midwife about what’s the best interval for you.  Use birth control  (your provider will help you choose the best one for you) until you’re ready to get pregnant again.

– Take a multivitamin with folic acid  in it every day before you get pregnant.

– Get a preconception checkup before you conceive to make sure you’re as healthy as you can be.

Make a reproductive life plan with your partner.  Ask yourselves:  How many children do we want? How far apart do we want them to be? How can I stay healthy before my next pregnancy? How will I keep from getting pregnant until we’re ready for another child?

9 questions to ask your provider before you get pregnant

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

There are things you can do, before you get pregnant, to help give your baby a better chance of a healthy and full-term birth. See your health care provider before pregnancy and ask about the following topics.

What do I need to know about…

1. Diabetes, high blood pressure, infections or other health problems?
2. Medicines or home remedies?
3. Taking a multivitamin pill with folic acid in it each day?
4. Getting to a healthy weight before pregnancy?
5. Smoking, drinking alcohol and taking illegal drugs?
6. Unsafe chemicals or other things I should stay away from at home or at work?
7. Taking care of myself and lowering my stress?
8. How long to wait between pregnancies?
9. My family history, including premature birth?