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Thread: Study: Pregnancy gaps 'can harm babies'

  1. #1
    Sal Guest

    Default Study: Pregnancy gaps 'can harm babies'

    This article appeared on netdoctor (UK site) yesterday.

    Pregnancies which are spaced too far apart or too close together can increases the risk of babies being born underweight or prematurely, a Columbian study has suggested.

    An interval of more than 59 months and less than 18 months increases the risk, according to the researchers from the Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogota.

    They studied research carried out across the world between 1966 and 2006.

    All of the studies took into account the age of the mother and her socioeconomic background, both of which can affect pregnancy outcomes.

    The team, led by Dr Agustin Conde-Agudelo, wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): "Interpregnancy intervals shorter than 18 months and longer than 59 months are significantly associated with increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes.

    "These data suggest that spacing pregnancies appropriately could help prevent such adverse perinatal outcomes."

    The researchers compared the women with gaps of less than six months with those who left a gap of between 18 and 23 months before their next pregnancy.

    They found that babies born after a shorter gap had a 40 per cent increased risk of premature birth, a 61 per cent increased risk of low birth weight and a 26 per cent increased risk of being small for their age compared to those born after a longer gap.



    Babies born after a gap of 59 months, almost five years, had a 20 to 43 per cent risk of suffering adverse effects.

    For each month the pregnancy was shortened from 18 months, risk increased and for each month pregnancies were lengthened, risk also increased.

    The researchers said it was not clear why longer gaps posed a greater risk to babies' health, but suggested that risk from leaving shorter gaps could be that the mother has not recovered from a previous pregnancy or is deficient in nutrients.

    The researchers suggested women should not really try to have another baby for 18 months until after their last birth.

  2. #2

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    I have a gap of 2.5 years with my two and it's been bad for my health! LOL!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
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  3. #3

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    Interesting....
    I can understand about the shorter gaps... but am wondering about the longer gaps.
    As I'm pretty sure that baby #2 for me is going to come after a very long gap...
    Maybe it has to do with maternal age as well? As the women in the study were 5 years+ younger when they had their first baby... which is why the adverse effects increased for the later babies?
    Although hopefully my #2 will be born whilst I am still under 30, and wont be at too much increased risk of any complications...

  4. #4

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    Well there were 96 months and 1 day between the birth of my children and there's absolutely nothing wrong with my boy or my body post birth. He was born 3 days late @ 4110g/9lb 1oz and has continued to be on the 80% line for weight, height and head circ.

    I think there's plenty that can affect the results of this study than just the break inbetween.

    Ambah, I agree with you, perhaps it has something to do with the maternal age. ?? who knows!

  5. #5

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    Maddison & Indah are almost 7 yrs apart (You can work that out in months yourselves LOL!)..
    Indah was born exactly 7 days over & @ 8lb1, I dont think she is underweight either!!!
    Infact she is in clothes now that Maddy was in at age 2! I think it could be the age of the mother more so than the time between pregs! I also know of friends that are lucky to have 10 months between their babies & all are perfectly normal!

    Sometimes life & Mother Nature has her own plans for us & nothing Dr's or scientists tell us can make it change!!!

  6. #6

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    I reckon they could do studies on EVERYTHING and ANYTHING and come up with ridiculous statistics every time. Honestly, what a bizarre thing to test. Anyway, we too have a 7 year gap and Coco is in top 10 percentile for height and above 50% in weight (if not more) , so no small bubs here.
    Mind you we have friends who have two of the tiniest kids I've ever seen and they are 18 months apart!!
    Go figure..xoxo

  7. #7
    Sal Guest

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    Yeah, I was very surprised to read this article.

    Hasn't put me off TTC again with bub 3mo!!

  8. #8

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    \/ Good Luck Sal!!!

    Wont puty me off jumping Dh when time is right for US & not some students!!!

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