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Possible Problems of Short Birth Spacing

Problems that could happen with the baby, because of short birth spacing:

  • Low birth weight
    • Definition: baby weighing less than 5lbs. 8oz. (2500 grams) at birth
    • Problems associated with low birth weight: baby's immune system doesn't work as well (therefore more likely to get sick), mental disabilities, and even death.
  • Small for gestational age (small for the number of weeks of pregnancy)
    • This means the baby is smaller than the expected size for weeks of pregnancy.
    • Babies tend to have a condition called intrauterine growth restriction, and this is when the fetus is not growing and developing at the expected rate during pregnancy. The most common reason for this is a problem with the placenta.
  • Pre-term/Premature birth
    • Definition: a baby born before the 37th week of pregnancy.
    • A premature baby may have problems because the baby's organs didn't have enough time to develop and may not be ready to function on their own.
    • Pre-term babies can be at risk for breathing problems, immune system problems, infections, mental disabilities, cerebral palsy, vision and hearing loss, and even death.
    • Pre-term birth is one of the top causes of infant death in the United States.
    • For more information about premature babies click here.

Problems that could happen with Mom because of short birth spacing:

  • Pre-term labor
    • Definition: labor that begins before the 37th week of pregnancy.
    • Other things that increase the risk for pre-term labor are smoking, drinking alcohol, drug use, not eat healthy foods, vaginal/cervical/or urinary tract infections, pregnancies with twins/triplets (or more), high blood pressure, and diabetes.
  • Uterine rupture
    • Definition: a tear through the uterus.
    • Other factors that increase the risk for uterine rupture are scars from previous cesarean section, multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets), the fetus being positioned in a way that isn't normal, and use of pitocin (a medicine used during labor to make the mom have contractions).
  • Third trimester bleeding
    • Always consult your health care provider with any bleeding during pregnancy. Sometimes bleeding can be considered normal, but it could also be because of problems with the cervix or placenta.
  • Mental health issues
    • Short birth spacing also makes moms more likely to have Postpartum Depression.
    • Short birth spacing has been shown to increase Mom's stress level about parenting her children.