A new study has suggested that women who wait just for a short time to get pregnant after giving birth may put themselves and their unborn children in danger.
According to a report published by Reuters, the study was part of Dr Laura Schummers’ dissertation at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Schummers, who is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia, said, “We found for women of all ages, pregnancy within 12 months after a live birth comes with risks.
When the researchers started the study, the report indicated, they thought they might find lower risks in the older women because most of these short interval pregnancies in older women were by choice. The women were at an age where their fertility was waning and they wanted a chance to have more than one child.
“Women who are 35 and older do quite often plan to have closely spaced pregnancies. Among younger women, the pregnancy is less often planned if it was closely spaced.
“If someone has a baby and six months later they discover they are pregnant, perhaps that is not intended. We thought because older women more often plan to have their pregnancies closer together they might not have the increased risks that are due to unintended pregnancies,” Schummers said.
The report said the researchers claimed that there were fewer complications among the babies carried by older women, compared to younger women and there was a slightly increased risk when the spacing between pregnancies was short.
Reuters also reported that contrary to what the researchers had expected, short intervals between pregnancies were linked with higher risks for death and serious complications, such as transfusions of three or more units of blood, being put on a ventilator, being transferred to an intensive care unit, or organ failure for older women, but not younger women.