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How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After Giving Birth?

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Some women give birth and swear off the baby-making process forever. Others, however, are eager to have another one on the way as soon as possible. Depending on your personal health and family goals, this option may make a lot of sense. So how soon can you get pregnant after giving birth, and what are some general guidelines about timing multiple pregnancies?

As with basically everything else in the world of pregnancy, the initial answer is: it depends. For instance, moms who are not breastfeeding may ovulate as soon as 25 days after giving birth, as noted in Baby Center. In this case, it may be possible to have a pretty quick turnaround in terms of making a sibling for your newborn. And remember: you will ovulate before your period even returns, so you may not get much of a warning. To complicate matters, how soon your ovulation returns can vary greatly from woman to woman; as explained by a 2011 study in Obstetrics and Gynecology, the average return day of ovulation may range from 45 to 94 days postpartum. In other words, your mileage may vary.

Additionally, breastfeeding can play a huge role in the return of your period and fertility. According to Healthline, the vast majority of women who breastfeed exclusively will delay their cycle's return. However, as further noted in Healthline, any changes in your routine may trigger the return of your cycle, and you may become pregnant after about nine weeks of breastfeeding. Even something as simple as your baby sleeping all night can be enough of a change.

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Even though many women can get pregnant a few weeks after giving birth, this may not be the best course of action for everyone. According the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), getting pregnant again very soon may increase the odds that your second baby will be born early. In order to mitigate these risks, and give your body plenty of time to recover, the HHS further recommends mothers waiting about a year postpartum before getting pregnant again. That said, your own health and ability to conceive may vary too, so it's a good idea to discuss your future family plans with your doctor ahead of time.