Monday, April 20, 2015

Having two too close together

I know someone who had her children in quick succession. For four years of her life, she was either pregnant or had just given birth and was breastfeeding. She is a happy mom of three children today, and she doesn't regret her decision to have her children be so close in age.

I admit that at this point of my life it is hard for me to even contemplate going back to diapers and starting daycare again. So, to me, the idea of having your children in close succession made sense. Until I started reading about the toll it takes on your body.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released data indicating that a third of U.S. women are having children only 18 months apart. The timing matters because the shorter the time between pregnancies, the higher the risks for adverse health outcomes - for both mother and child.

One important aspect of this study to keep in mind though is that it is the first of its kind. There is no comparison data in place to determine if spacing has increased/decreased/stayed the same over the last decade.

The other interesting portion of this study was that around 20 percent of women had their children spaced at 5 years apart or more. If you are a fan of birth order studies (like me), then you'll recognize that the 5-year span is optimal for having two children with "first-born child" characteristics.

How soon did you wait between your pregnancies? Share your dates in the comments.

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