REVEALED: The perfect gap mums should leave between pregnancies

A new study has discovered this - and you might be surprised

November 04 2018

How long should you wait between pregnancies? 

Mums should ideally wait at least a year between giving birth and getting pregnant again, a new study has found.

In the past women had been advised by the World Health Organisation to wait 18-24 months before falling pregnant again but this research shows reveals a shorter gap is fine for both mum and baby.

Small gaps between pregnancies can risk premature births, smaller babies and serious health risks. 

The researchers hope the findings will be "reassuring" for older women who are having babies later, so only have a limited time Fram to wait between children. 

Senior study author Dr Wendy Norman said it was "encouraging news" for women over 35 who were planning their families.

"Older mothers for the first time have excellent evidence to guide the spacing of their children," said Dr Wendy Norman from the study carried out at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

"Achieving that optimal one-year interval should be doable for many women and is clearly worthwhile to reduce complication risks."



The study looked at 150,00 births in Canada and found that women older than 35 who conceived just six months after a previous birth had a risk of maternal mortality of 1.2 percent. But if they waited 18 months, the risk went down to 0.5 percent.

Meanwhile, women who were younger than 35 who got pregnant six months after a previous birth had an 8.5 percent risk of premature labor. But that risk went down to 3.7 percent if they waited 18 months.


Mandy Forrester, from the Royal College of Midwives, told the BBC that the research is useful and builds on previous findings.

 "Ultimately, it will be a woman's choice, whatever age they are, about how long they leave between their pregnancies," Forrester noted. "What is important is that they are aware of the evidence around birth spacing and that they make their choice armed with the right information."