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Taking More Time Between Babies Reduces Risk Of Premature Birth

A new study published in The International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology provides new evidence supporting birth spacing. The study found that short interpregnancy intervals, or the time between a woman’s pregnancies, is related to an increased risk for premature birth.

The study found that mothers with less than a year between one birth and the next pregnancy had lower chances of giving birth to the next child at the expected 40-week mark. In fact, women who got pregnant within a year of giving birth were twice as likely to have that new baby born prematurely, compared with women who waited at least 18 months.

The study also found that Black mothers tend to have shorter intervals between pregnancies compared to other groups. This finding is consistent with evidence that Black women experiencing higher premature birth rates.  

The WHO currently recommends an interval of 24 months between pregnancies. This means women should wait two years between giving birth and getting pregnant with a subsequent child.For resources about birth spacing, visit the family planning section of our website.

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