You already know you want another child, but how soon can you get pregnant after having a baby? You may not be sure that you can handle raising 2 children. Can you manage with 2 little ones in diapers? Or it may be best to wait between births. The answer is something like: each choice comes with it own advantages and disadvantages.
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How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After Having A Baby?
If you don`t breastfeed, menstruation may occur after 6 – 8 weeks from birth or even faster. If you do breastfeed, menstruation may not resume until after a couple of weeks, some mothers having a new menstruation when weaning.
The chances of having ovulation during the first 6 weeks from birth are low. Still, the exact period in which ovulation reappears is very difficult to estimate, varying from woman to woman. Lack of menstruation and breastfeeding aren`t criteria for an efficient contraceptive method, as you can remain pregnant while breastfeeding as well. Breastfeeding only postpones fertility, but it doesn`t exclude it.
After birth, your ovaries will release an egg before your first menstruation. This means you can remain pregnant again even if you don`t breastfeed. If you don`t want another child immediately, it`s recommended to use a contraceptive method as soon as you started to become sexually active again, meaning after 6 weeks when it`s recommended to resume sexual activity.
At the beginning, you can use condoms and spermicides. If you are breastfeeding and prefer hormonal contraception, it`s important to choose a method that won`t decrease the production of milk, such as the birth control pill (during breastfeeding are only allowed a certain type of such pills, the ones that only contain progesterone). Ask your doctor about contraceptive methods at postpartum controls or before resuming sexual contacts.
Experts believe that the minimum time between 2 pregnancy is a year, if you didn`t give birth naturally. In case of a Caesarean birth, it`s recommended a 2-year break. During the 12 months, the woman`s health stage is completely restored, normal menstruation is resumed after breastfeeding and the mother recovers her physical strength necessary for the second pregnancy.
Regarding the safety of having a baby again after a recent pregnancy, it`s best to take into consideration the following aspects:
- The genital organs need some time to recover after childbirth.
During labor and delivery, the uterus and cervix have suffered important changes. As a result, some restoration time is required. Particularly, the uterine inner layer might be prone to infection. Lochia, that leakage that is eliminated from the uterus after birth, is a sign that the uterus is healing. When this discharge isn`t bloody anymore, this means the uterus is already healed. This process may last for most women between 3 and 8 weeks.
- You have to be ready for new sexual contacts.
Although advice on resuming sexual contacts after giving birth differs from doctor to doctor, most of them recommend abstaining from any sexual activity until the control you need to perform at 6 weeks after birth. For example, if you experienced an episiotomy, sex may increase the risk of wound opening, rectal or vaginal ruptures.
In addition, certain women find that they have a low sexual desire after giving birth. Other ones complain of pain during sexual intercourse. Most of the times, it`s only about fear of having pain after birth.
Advantages When Conceiving After 1 Year
If you want to limit yourself to 2 child, you`ll quickly get over what`s harder during the first years of your children`s life. You`ll be prepared for the diapers, consultations that the baby needs and you`ll already have all the “equipment” installed. “You cannot sleep too much anyway, but this way you`re deprived of sleep only once,” explains Michele Borba, an experts in child development for iVillage.com.
Moreover, the brothers may be friends. Children need to establish friendships with other children. And rivalry and jealousy between brothers most likely won`t cause major issues, because the older brother won`t feel the family expanding and him being “replaced.”
When you have 2 children close in age, some things are simply easier. For instance, the second child will learn a lot faster to use the potty.
Disadvantages When Conceiving After 1 Year
It seems that isn`t the healthiest option. According to a new study, having 2 children of close age may increase the chance for the second child to suffer of autism. Researchers at Columbia University have discovered that, if a child has been conceived in less than 2 years after his brothers, he has a risk of almost 2 times greater to develop autism. Moreover, babies conceived in less than 1 year from the first child have been 3 times more likely to develop autism. According to Autism.emedtv.com, between 2 and 6 children in 1.000 births develop autism, boys being 4 times more likely to develop this medical condition than girls.
Your body may be exhausted and your wallet may lack of money. You`ll maybe get away with 2 hours of sleep, but you get a longer and harder round. More than this, maybe you`ll make some savings on clothes, toys and other necessary things for a baby, but the consumables are always a burden, and the need for 2 children at the same time may lead to bankruptcy.
You`ll have less time to enjoy of each of your children. The older one won`t feel ignored in favor of the little one and the smaller child won`t be spoiled like when the difference of age between brothers is higher. However, divided and overwhelmed by the needs of 2 children at the same time, a mother may lose lots of those unique moments from the life of a baby.
Advantages When Conceiving After 2 – 3 Years
It`s to be appreciated that you already have an older child, who is more independent and can even be of some help. Most likely, the older brother will be at kindergarten, which will allow you to have time for the little baby, without letting the other one the sensation that you are ignoring him. Also, he feels useful when he helps his mother by bringing her a diaper for his smaller brother.
As with the second child born at about 1 year after your first baby, you have the opportunity of using the same gear, without needing to store them for years. If your children are twins or very close to age, you need to always buy 2 products of the same kind. But when the children are born after 2 or 3 years, you have chance to use all that you bought in the first time again, and therefore, save quite a lot of money in time.
You have about 2 years to sleep all night. After your first child you learn to really appreciate a good night of sleep. You may feel more prepared for a new challenge after a time of peace in which you have physically and emotionally restored.
Disadvantages When Conceiving After 2 – 3 Years
It`s harder for a pregnant woman to run after a small child. Almost every pregnant woman confronts with extreme fatigue, but what if she also needs to take care of a small child who is more and more active, and who seem to test her every day more and more how far patience can go.
Endless diaper changes – just when you thought you are done with changing diapers, and that you just taught your child to use the potty, you wake up again that you need to buy and change diapers. Everything needs to start all over again.
You may feel that you need to hurry your older child to get to bed, use the potty or go to the kindergarten, so that you can be able to give all your attention to the newborn.
Advantages When Conceiving After 4 or More Years
You`ll have an older child who will be able to help you a lot. The older he gets, the more responsible he`ll feel as an “important person” in the family when he helps you take care of the smaller brother. Also, the older brother can now play alone when you need to focus on the needs of the newborn.
Each child has the chance of being a “baby” for a longer period of time. Each one receives a special care and is the center of attention when he`s little.
Disadvantages When Conceiving After 4 or More Years
When someone was “the only child” for a few years may not be too happy when a brother or sister is born. The older child may have resentments because he`s no longer the center of attention.
A 5-year gap isn`t the best choice for your health or your baby`s. A recent study, published in the Journal of American Medical Association, showed that babies whose mothers have a child who is at least 5 years older, have a risk of 20% – 43% higher to be born prematurely or with a lower birth weight. Also, the mother`s health can suffer: she`ll have an increased risk of developing preeclampsia and eclampsia, as well as severe medical conditions associated with increased blood pressure.