A new study by the
says about one-third of American mothers are not waiting long enough to get pregnant again.
Doctors like Dr. Kimberly Gecsi, an obstetrician and gynecologist for University Hospitals, recommends her patients wait at least a year, but 18 months is ideal.
"Allowing your body to rest, to heal from the delivery that it just went through. Also, for your body to have time to replete its stores of nutrients, like folate and iron," says Gecsi.
Waiting less than 18 months to get pregnant again can lead to complications.
"Waiting too short can put you at risk for preterm labor, low birth weight. It can also put you at risk for some pregnancy complications, like placental abruption, which is where the placenta separates from the uterus too soon," adds Gesci.
There are other psychological benefits for mom and baby to wait at least a year before getting pregnant again: Moms have more of a chance to bond with their new babies.