A full-term baby is a Stronger Baby
Having babies too close together increases your risk for premature births. Waiting at least 18 months between pregnancies can lower your risk of preterm birth by 40 percent.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that waiting 18 to 23 months after giving birth to get pregnant is the healthiest option for both mother and infant. Mothers need enough time to recover from pregnancy before becoming pregnant again. The CDC’s research pointed out that those babies conceived too soon likely had problems because the mother is still recovering from vitamin depletion, blood loss and reproductive system damage from the prior birth.
Babies born after the 39th week of pregnancy have the best possible start in life!
Not all pregnancy complications can be prevented, but we know that women can reduce the risk for prematurity by living a healthy lifestyle, managing health conditions and detecting problems early. Babies born before the start of the 37th week of pregnancy are considered premature or preterm, and prematurity is the leading cause of infant death in Knox County. In 2013, 10.8% of total births in Knox County were premature.
While not every premature baby experiences complications, babies who survive an early birth may have breathing problems, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and other lifelong problems. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. Attending all prenatal appointments can help doctors can spot health problems early. Early treatment can cure many problems and help reduce the risk for premature birth.
What puts me at risk for a premature birth?
- Previous preterm birth – let your doctor know if you have ever had a baby early in the past
- Low or high maternal age – younger than 18 or older than 35
- High blood pressure
- Gaining too much or too little weight while you are pregnant
- Having babies too close together. Waiting at least 18 months between pregnancies can lower your risk of preterm birth by 40 percent.
Our Women’s Health Clinic provides pregnancy testing and can also help qualify you for temporary Medicaid coverage if you do not have health insurance and you are pregnant. Click here for more information.