The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends waiting at least 24 months to conceive a child after a previous birth. A deadline called into question by Curtin University (Australia). Researchers deem this delay “unnecessarily long” for high-income countries such as Australia, Finland, Norway and the United States.
Lead researcher Dr Gizachew Tessema of the Curtin School of Population Health said that since WHO’s advice was based on limited evidence from countries with limited resources, it was necessary to determine whether the 15-year recommendation was relevant for high income settings. “We compared about 3 million births to 1.2 million women with at least three children and found that the risk of poor birth outcomes after an interval of less than six months between pregnancies was not greater. to those born after an interval of 18 to 23 months“.
“Given that current birth spacing recommendations provide for a wait time of at least 18 months to two years after live births, our results are reassuring for families who conceive earlier than that.”
Through their observations, the researchers found that siblings born after an interval of more than 60 months had an increased risk of adverse birth outcomes. Dr Tessema specifies that the results of the study are not not applicable to parents of all ages. “Our next step with this research is to identify whether the intervals between pregnancies affect the risk of adverse birth outcomes in women of different ages.”