A quick pregnancy after stillbirth is safe for women, a new study has revealed.
According to the Word Health Organisation, women are advised to wait at least six months after a miscarriage or induced abortion before conceiving again, in order to reduce the risk of complications.
However, a new study has revealed that getting pregnant quickly after a stillbirth – defined in this study as a baby’s death after 22 weeks’ pregnancy – can be safe for women.
The study, published in prestigious medical journal The Lancet, looked at 14,000 births and found no increased risk of problems if conception happened earlier.
Their findings read: ‘Conception within 12 months of a stillbirth was common and was not associated with increased risk of adverse outcomes in the subsequent pregnancy.
‘These findings could be used when counselling women who are planning future pregnancies after a stillbirth and for informing future recommendations for pregnancy spacing in a high-income setting.’
Dr Annette Regan, who led the study at Curtin University in Australia, said: ‘We were able to demonstrate that conception of the next child within 12 months after a stillbirth was not associated with an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes.
‘The research may have important implications for families who have experienced a stillbirth.
‘Our findings should provide reassurance to women who wish to become pregnant or unexpectedly become pregnant shortly after a stillbirth.’
Tommy’s stillbirth charity advise that women should wait until they know what caused the stillbirth, so the problem can be prevented if it’s likely to happen again.
The advice on their website reads: ‘You may also wish to wait for results from any tests done after your baby died, or a post-mortem. These results might reveal a specific problem and you’ll want to know if this could affect a future pregnancy, or if it can be treated.’