The World Health Organization recommends that women should wait for at least 2 years after a live birth and a minimum of 6 months after a miscarriage or abortion that occurs before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Until now, due to lack of evidence, it was unknown the duration that a women who gave birth to a stillborn should wait until.
Studies have now proven that women who get pregnant within a year of stillbirth have no higher risk of another stillbirth or other complications than those who wait at least two years.
The data analyzed for this study was taken between 1980 and 2016 of 14,500 single births among women from Australia, Finland and Norway who had a stillbirth in their previous pregnancy. The researchers defined stillbirth as a loss of foetus 22 weeks after gestation).
Among the births analyzed, 98 per cent of them were live birth among which 18 per cent were before term and 9 per cent were too small to determine a gestational age. Only 2 per cent of the births were stillborn and of them, 12 per cent were full term and 88 per cent were before term.
Author Annette Regan, a research fellow at Curtin University in Perth, Australia said, “Approximately 3.5 in every 1,000 births in high-income countries are stillborn, and there is limited guidance available for planning future pregnancies.” She also added, “We hope that our findings can provide reassurance to women who wish to become pregnant or unexpectedly become pregnant shortly after a stillbirth.”
According to Mark Klebanoff, principal investigator at the Center for Perinatal Research, the time between pregnancies appears to be less important than assumed, at least for women in high-income regions of the world.
The study was published on Feb. 28 in The Lancet medical journal and said that at least 3.5 of 1000 births in high- income countries are still births. Around 63 percent of women who had a stillbirth got pregnant again within a year, and 37 percent got pregnant within six months with no consequences.