There are usually two schools of thoughts when it comes to spacing out births. Some women opt to wait a few years so they can truly enjoy life with a little one and recover from the physical aspects of pregnancy. Others choose to jump right into the deep end of the parenting pool, having a second baby very shortly after their first so their kids can grow up close in age. Both options have their pros and cons, of course. But if you're thinking of getting pregnant again (and fast), here's what you need to know about back-to-back pregnancies.
First of all, you should know that, whether you're planning on it or not, you can definitely get pregnant shortly after giving birth. Some women think they aren't yet fertile, or mistakenly believe that breastfeeding will act as a contraceptive, according to Baby Center. That's simply not true. So if you're not into the thought of two little ones in diapers, have a plan in place.
If having your babies close in age appeals to you, don't let naysayers get you down about your decision. Plenty of families thrive with kids so close in age they could pass for twins, even if it is a bit more challenging than having an age gap.
Here are seven important things to know about back-to-back pregnancies.
1. You Might Not Even Realize You're Pregnant
If you've just had a baby, chances are your body and hormones are still out of whack. Heck, you might not have even gotten your period back yet. But nonetheless, you can still get pregnant shortly after birth according to Fit Pregnancy, which some women don't realize.
2. You'll Have To Watch Your Diet
According to CNN, pregnancy can deplete your body of important nutrients like iron and folate. So if you get pregnant again quickly, you won't have time to build them back up. Taking prenatal vitamins and making healthy food choices can help make sure your second baby gets all the good stuff that your first baby did.
3. It Might Make Breastfeeding More Difficult
If you get pregnant again while you're still breastfeeding your firstborn, it may cause some headaches. According to Women's Health, your pregnancy hormones can cause your breastmilk supply to talk. Plus, nursing when you're pregnant can trigger Braxton Hicks contractions, which aren't exactly pleasant.
4. There Are Some Risks
Get pregnant too soon can be a bit risky, according to Science Daily. It makes you more likely to give birth prematurely, and the risk doubles if your pregnancies are only a year or so apart.
5. It Might Be Hard On You Emotionally
Getting pregnant can carry some mixed emotions when it's a second baby quickly on the heels of the first. According to Babble, some women end up worrying and feeling guilty about how their older child will deal with the new baby. Sibling jealousy can be an issue no matter what the age gap is, but it might be a bit more difficult when the older child is too young to understand what's going on.
6. You'll Be Exhausted
Speaking from personal experience, your second pregnancy can be way more exhausting than your first because you're also juggling the demands of your firstborn child. During my first pregnancy I got a good night's sleep every single night, and even squeezed in some naps. With an energetic toddler to care for now, that's just not possible — and I'm really feeling the difference.
7. You'll Probably Get Some Rude Comments
Strangers just can't seem to keep their opinions to themselves when it comes to your family planning. She Knows warned that many moms of back-to-back babies find themselves the subject of thoughtless comments and overly personal questions from people who for some reason feel they have a right to judge your choices.