Since the concept of family is of great importance in our society, couples usually try not to keep the gap between the first and second baby too long. Some couples find it appropriate to leave at least 3-4 years of age between the sibling and the child, while others search for the earliest time when they can get pregnant. But how soon a mother is ready for another pregnancy after giving birth, and when the ideal time for a second pregnancy is, is affected by many different circumstances. The recommendation of the World Health Organization is that there should be at least 2 years between childbirth and a new birth. 2 years is the ideal time for a mother to breastfeed her baby for 2 years and wait for her body and uterus to be ready for a new birth.
Since pregnancies over 35 years of age are also associated with an increased risk, if the mother’s age is over 35, the period for re-pregnancy should be set at 1 year. 2. Another recommendation is not to keep the gap longer than 5 years if children are planned. In cases where the interval between 2 pregnancies is short, the risk of premature birth, miscarriage and low birth weight may increase. However, the mother’s anemia and the vitamins and minerals she has stored become important here. Therefore, adequate and balanced nutrition should be emphasized after the first birth and vitamins should be supplemented when necessary.
Does Breastfeeding Protect Against Pregnancy?
It is a common belief that breastfeeding protects against pregnancy. But the answer to this question can be both yes and no. There is a long-standing belief that breastfeeding reduces the potential for pregnancy and breastfeeding is used as a form of contraception. However, breastfeeding is by no means a modern contraceptive method.
During lactation, the hormone prolactin, secreted from the pituitary gland, effectively secretes milk. In doing so, the hormone also suppresses ovulation. This repression is the mechanism that tries to prevent the mother from becoming pregnant so that the baby can benefit more from the mother’s resources. Breastfeeding can therefore protect the mother from pregnancy. The key point here is the time of onset of menstruation. Menstruation after childbirth usually takes place within 5 to 6 months. The protection of breastfeeding against pregnancy ends with the onset of menstruation. So all conditions are examined;
- The mother’s menstrual bleeding has not started,
- The baby is less than 6 months old
- Full or near-full breastfeeding is a necessary condition for breastfeeding to act as a contraceptive.
In conclusion, breastfeeding is not an obstacle to getting pregnant. If you start menstruating while breastfeeding, pregnancy can occur, so breastfeeding should not be considered a contraceptive method except under the conditions I have mentioned.