‘Brief intervals between births can lead to shorter pregnancies’

5 June 2014

Women who experience intervals of less than 18 months between giving birth are more likely to experience a decrease in the length of subsequent pregnancies, according to a new study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

To conduct the research, scientists looked at 454,716 live births from women that had been pregnant at least twice in the last six years. They then analysed the influence of inadequate lapses of time on the duration of subsequent pregnancies.

The team defined short interpregnancy intervals (IPI) as the time from one birth to the conception of the next pregnancy.

Those with short IPIs were put into two groups, those with less than 12 months between births and those with between 12 and 18 months. Results were then compared to women with an optimal IPI of 18 or more months.

Mothers with shorter IPIs were more likely to give birth before they reach 39 weeks compared to women with the ideal spacing between pregnancies.

Emily DeFranco, co-author of the study, commented: "This study has potential clinical impact on reducing the overall rate of preterm birth across the world through counselling women on the importance of adequate birth spacing, especially focusing on women know to be at inherently high risk for preterm birth."

Posted by Philip Briggs


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