Experts have found that women who have two children in quick succession of each other are more likely to have a shorter pregnancy the second time round
The results came from a study, published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, that looked at the length of time between pregnancies – known as interpregnancy intervals (IPI) in medical jargon – between 400,000 live births of women who had two or more pregnancies over a period of six years.
The mums polled were divided into three categories, depending on their IPI. The first group included mums with an IPI of under 12 months, the second consisted of those with an IPI of 12 to 18 months and the third group had an IPI of over 18 months.
The researchers found that mums with the shortest IPIs were likely to give birth before their 39th week of pregnancy. Mums in the first group delivered before this point at a rate of 53.3 per cent and were found to be twice as likely to deliver before 37 weeks.
This dropped to 37.5 per cent for mums in the second and third groups, who had more time between pregnanices.
Lead researcher Emily DeFranco, assistant professor of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio and the Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, hopes that this study ‘has potential clinical impact on reducing the overall rate of preterm birth across the world. She hopes that women will be advised on the importance of spacing out births – especially those who are at risk of preterm births.
If you think you’re at risk of a premature birth, have a read of the risks and signs of early labour.
How close together did you have your children? Share your experience in the comments box below.