How long does it take to get pregnant after having a baby?

How long does it take to get pregnant after having a baby?

Our expert: Dr. Sherry Ross

Sheryl A. Ross, M.D., “Dr. Sherry,” is an award-winning OBGYN, our go-to for pregnancy, postpartum, menopause and beyond. She’s practiced for 20+ years, recently won both a Top Ten OB/GYN & Patient’s Choice Award. She also has a line of custom vitamins made specially for women, Dr. Ross D3FY Vitamins.

I just started my period nine months after I had my baby. I’m wanting another baby now. How fast does it take to get pregnant again? 

This is a very common and great question. Your uterus is a muscle that is typically the size of a pear and expands to the size of a large watermelon by the time it’s 40 weeks. There definitely needs to be a rest period for full recovery to occur. Ideally it’s recommended to wait until your baby is 12 months old. Getting pregnant before your child turns 1 year is associated with an increased risk of placental abruption (placenta completely coming off the wall of the uterus), placenta previa (placenta covering the cervix), and autism in the second-born child.

You aren’t out of the woods even if you wait 18 months before getting pregnant again.  If you get pregnant before 18 months of having a baby, you are at increased risk of uterine rupture for those attempting a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), low birth weight and preterm labor.

Interestingly if you wait more than 5 years or more to have another child you would be at an increased risk of high blood pressure after 20 weeks, preterm birth, low birth weight or small size for gestation age.

For mom, closely spaced pregnancies can be mentally and physically more stressful.  If you have been breast-feeding for a long period of time you can be nutritional depleted of certain vitamins and minerals such as iron and folate. It’s important to remember to stay on a prenatal vitamin while you breast fed to help prevent nutritional deficient from happening.

One last word of advice is that you want to allow yourself (and your partner) enough time to be physically, emotionally, and mentally ready to bring another member into your family. 50% of pregnancies are unplanned in the United States, when it comes to family planning, be sure you are on the other side of that statistic!

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