Post # 1
- Wedding: September 2017 - California
I know I am getting way ahead of myself since I am still TTC No. 1 but since I am 35 now, almost 36, and Darling Husband and I want two children, is how quickly women can safely conceive after giving birth. From what I have read, the general recommendation is to wait 18 months to minimize the risk of complications such as premature birth and (terrifyingly) maternal mortality, but given that fertility decreases after age 35, waiting so long seems like it might dramatically decrease the likelihood of being able to get pregnant and increase the risk of miscarriage. For anyone who has been through this, what were you advised by your OB and what did you do? Thanks!
ETA: It looks like the recommendations really vary a lot – just looking into this a bit more in the past few minutes, some recommendations are as low as 12 months and some as high as 24 months.
Post # 2
I was 35, 37, and 38. We did not have fertility issues (luckily- our third was actually a surprise). I had C sections with all three, my OB suggested around a year between to give my uterus max healing time, and with our third I delivered 3 weeks early because my uterus was really thin. Personally, and unrelated to fertility, the age gap between my oldest and middle is really nice compared to the latter two from a parenting standpoint.
Post # 3
Not in the same situation as you but my sibling was born a bit less than 18 months after me and there were no complications. I’m pretty sure I know a lot of family members who conceived their children much less than 18 months apart!
Post # 4
Delivered baby 1 at 36. Started trying when she was 9 months old. Took 9 months to get pregnant with baby 2, whom I delivered at 38.5. Kids are 2 years 3 months apart.
ETA: both were vaginal deliveries with no complications. I went to 39 weeks with baby 1 and two days before my due date with baby 2.
Post # 5
Besides the potential health issues with really rapid pregnancies, sooner than 18 months would mean you get your period back and ovulate and get pregnant again sooner than 9 months after the first birth…. which is pretty quick! If you’re breastfeeding, that likely may not happen.
I had my first baby at 36 and wanted a quick turnaround. I got my period back at 9 months postpartum, got pregnant the next month and was super psyched. But…. miscarriage :/ My son is 15 months now and I’m not pregnant yet but hopefully sometimes soon.
Post # 6
My (uneducated) guess would be that it depends on how the first pregnancy/ birth goes. If it’s standard/ healthy then probably less time is needed between pregnancies than what’s commonly recommended.
Post # 7
My OB said “ideally 18 months from birth to conception of the second” to give the body optimal healing time, and recovery after breastfeeding, etc. But he said there’s nothing that indicates sooner is the CAUSE of issues, but it could exaggerate other issues.
My cousin had one baby the day before her 35th birthday, was pregant 11 months later with her second, and got pregnant with her third 8 months (surprise babe while breastfeeding) after that. She didn’t have any issues with conceiving, pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding any of them. I think they’re done now, as their third is almost 17 months. But she always says she could keep popping them out, no issues.
Post # 8
There is such a misconception about the drop in fertility after 35. In reality, your fertility is on the decline starting from puberty There is no sharp dip after 35. If you are going to struggle at 36, you would’ve struggled at 32, 33, etc.. After 40, you will start to see more instances of miscarriage etc. so you really have about 5 years before you need to worry about that, especially if you did not struggle to conceive # 1. I’d talk to your dr. about your concerns and perhaps ask for a fertility bloodwork workup. It took us almost 4 years and multiple rounds of fertility treatment to conceive the first time and I’ll be 35 when she is born next month. I still plan to wait at least 2 years before trying again at least. I am not as much worried about the health complications as I truly want to enjoy the baby experience and i don’t think you can do that if you are focused on another pregnancy while your baby is still a baby. Maybe I will change my mind, we’ll see. But i don’t think you should be focused so much on the fertility aspect.
Post # 9
My cousin gave birth at 35/36 with her first.She told me her doctor told her to wait 18 months so she did. It took her 6 months to get pregnant with second one and gave birth at 38/39.
Then there’s my friend who gave birth at 38 for the first time. She tried 6 months afterwards because her baby just didn’t wanna breastfeed anymore. It took her 9 months to get pregnant. She gave birth to twin babies at 40.
Post # 10
I was 39 when I had my first and 41 with my second. We started TTC our second when the first turned 1, got pregnant 4 months later. My OB’s recommendation was 12 months because of my age so we did that. Both my kids were early but that wasn’t because of any issues it was just “because I grow them fast” according to my OB 🤣
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2017 - California
Thanks everyone! This is very helpful information. Some of you know, but I’ve struggled with TTC since my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage at age 34 and then I had a subsequent miscarriage and chemical pregnancy (both at age 35), so I’m trying to get a sense of what may lie ahead.
Post # 12
So I think there’s really 3 things here: the time you need to heal from birth 1 before being ready for pregnancy 2, the age spacing you ideally want between kids, and the concern that it will become harder to get pregnant later.
It’s a tricky balance! Like KittyYogi said, if you want to/are able to breasteed #1, that can interfere with getting your cycle back, or if you have a vaginal delivery vs. C-section, it could alter how much time is needed to really recover and take on pregnancy again.
On the other hand, if you’ve struggled to get pregnant for the first baby, it’s not a guarantee it will be difficult the next time. We TTC’ed for 3 years to conceive our son, so once my cycle was back we thought we better get started trying for #2 and BAM. Pregnant on the first cycle and looking at an 18 month age gap. Losses and infertility can really change how you approach TTC and what your expectations are. We are excited for 2 under 2, but I was really shocked it happened so fast!
Post # 13
zstbee84 : I had mine at 36 and 38. It wasn’t about safety, it was about sanity. It’s pretty crazy right now with a two year old who pokes at baby’s eyes, hits her with a toy hammer, tries to put her on tummy time by himself, etc. if I weren’t so ‘old’ a wider gap might have been better, to let him mature a bit. But at the same time, having them closer image might make them more likely to be buddies later.
Post # 14
zstbee84 : I had fertility issues. It took 2.5 years to get pregnant with my son who I had at 32 (almost 33). I breastfed and my cycles returned at 6 weeks post partum!
with known fertility issues we started trying for baby 2 when our son was 11 months old. It took 6 months to get pregnant and I had my daughter at 34 (almost 35) there is 2 years and 10 days between them. Again I’m breastfeeding and my cycles returned at 10 weeks pp. breastfeeding can delay your cycles but not for everyone.
both pregnancies were pretty uncomplicated. I was on pelvic rest for both due to bleeding, but I had vaginal deliveries at term for both. My second pregnancy was easier and my second delivery was super easy. It was a quick and by the book water birth.
Post # 15
zstbee84 : My RE recommended waiting at least one year after giving birth before doing another transfer. It seems like a lot of women I know in the us gets that same answer. However you may be able to push for sooner or it may need to be pushed later. It just depends on how complicated or uncomplicated the birth went. It also would depend on how long you want to breastfeed. I totally get trying to plan ahead . It is very smart since ivf can be a long process. I wish you the best of luck!