Getting Pregnant After Having a Baby

Julia Blanter

According to some research, most women experience increased fertility during the first two to three months after giving birth. For women who are interested in getting pregnant again soon after giving birth, this is wonderful news. While it is possible for a woman to become pregnant within three weeks of childbirth, there are some things that you should know before attempting to conceive again.

How soon can I start trying to conceive again?
In most cases, your doctor will recommend that you wait about six weeks after giving birth to begin engaging in sexual intercourse again. However, if you plan on having sex before the six week time period is over, be sure to practice caution and listen to your body for signs of pain or discomfort.

Many women experience several weeks of bleeding after giving birth. This bleeding is a result of uterine damage can last between three and eight weeks until the injuries heal. If you are experiencing post-partum bleeding, it is best to wait for it to stop. Your uterus is not yet ready to support another pregnancy.

Does breastfeeding affect my chances of becoming pregnant?
If you are breastfeeding, you will be much less likely to get pregnant right after giving birth. Breastfeeding is actually quite effective as a method of birth control for most women because it usually halts the menstrual cycle. As you begin to wean your baby off of breast milk and introduce more solid foods, your cycle should return and your chances of conceiving should return to normal.

Women who decide not to breastfeed may ovulate within a few weeks of giving birth. It is very possible to get pregnant again during this cycle. Not all women will ovulate this quickly. In some cases, it may take up to 14 months for your menstrual cycle to completely return to normal.

Should I consult with my doctor before trying to conceive?
It is always a good idea to talk with your doctor about your plans to get pregnant right after giving birth. There is usually a checkup scheduled approximately six weeks after you have your baby. You can use this opportunity to ask your doctor if he or she thinks it is okay for you to start trying to conceive again. They may have suggestions for you based on the condition of your reproductive system and overall health.

The drawbacks of conceiving soon after giving birth
In addition to the fertility aspect of conception after birth, you also need to consider the many other factors and consequences of getting pregnant so soon after having a child. Having children back-to-back can take a toll on your body. If you are not healthy enough to sustain another pregnancy yet, it is a good idea to wait six months to a year before trying to conceive again.

You also need to consider the impact of having children who are very close in age. This will have major implications for your finances, employment, child care needs and even how you plan to save for your children’s college expenses.

Talking with other parents who have children who are very close in age may help you to determine if having another child this soon is the right option for you. Weigh out all of your options before making this decision. If you do decide to start trying to conceive again, be sure to check-in with your doctor and continue to take your prenatal vitamins.

How long did you wait to have children after giving birth?