Women who want to have children between 30 and 40 years of age often face a dilemma regarding how long to wait between pregnancies. Doctors usually advise that they wait 18 to 24 months. But the risks of pregnancy increase with age.
A study conducted Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), based on 150,000 pregnancies in Canada between 2004 and 2014, concludes that waiting less than a year between pregnancies increases the risks, regardless of the woman's age.
After a year, however, there is little difference in risk.
"The message of the study is that closely spaced pregnancies have risks for women of all ages," said study author Laura Schummers, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia.
"We found that maternal risks were present only for women 35 and older, and not for younger women, while the risks to the baby were present for women 20 to 34 years old and for those 35 years old or older. plus".
The risks were similar between 12 and 24 months, and "we saw a very small additional reduction between 12 and 18 months," Schummers told AFP.
The pregnancy interval was calculated as the amount of time between the birth of one child and the conception of the next.
For women older than 35 years, the risk of maternal complications was higher in pregnancies that started three, six or nine months after delivery.
For babies, the risks increased among pregnancies very close to the age of the mother.
These included stillbirth, infant death in the first year of life, low birth weight and prematurity, and affected approximately two percent of the babies in the study.
When the pregnancy started six months after giving birth, the risk of premature birth increased by 59 percent compared with the pregnancies scheduled to begin 18 months after giving birth.
Doctors in the United States often urge women to wait at least 18 months between delivery and pregnancy.
The World Health Organization recommends at least 24 months.
"Our findings indicate a shorter optimal interval than previously thought (12-24 months) for women of all ages," the study concluded.
"This finding can be reassuring, especially for older women who must weigh the competitive risks of increasing maternal age with longer intervals of pregnancy (including infertility and chromosomal abnormalities) versus the risks of short pregnancy intervals."
The study found that waiting at least 12 months between pregnancies reduces the risks