Mothers should wait one year between giving birth and getting pregnant, says study
Women should wait one year between giving birth and getting pregnant again.
A new study has shown that 12 months is enough time to reduce risk of the complications associated with multiple pregnancies in a short period of time.
These risks include premature births, infant mortality, mother mortality, and smaller babies.
According to the World Health Organisation, women should wait a minimum of 18 months between giving birth and getting pregnant, but the new study has recommended between 12 - 18 months as an "ideal time."
Study author Dr Wendy Normal has called the news "encouraging" for women over the age of 35 who are starting to plan their families.
"Older mothers for the first time have excellent evidence to guide the spacing of their children.
"Achieving that optimal one-year interval should be doable for many women and is clearly worthwhile to reduce complication risks."
The research, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, showed that women who got pregnant within 12 months of giving birth had a higher risk of complications irrespective of what age they were.
Risks to the infant were found for all women, but these risks were higher for women aged between 20 and 34.
As well as this, women over the age of 35 who got pregnant six months after giving birth had a 1.2 percent risk of mortality or harm.
Those who waited 18 months between reduced this risk to 0.5 percent.
The study included 150,000 births in Canada.