The timing between a live birth and the next pregnancy is termed as the inter-pregnancy interval (IPI). Shorter IPI may increase the risk of pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and small for gestational age baby.
A new study has indicated that although the typical time between pregnancies is about two-and-half years in the US, about a third of US mothers have an IPI of less than one and half year, while half of mothers space pregnancies between 18 months and five years.
Health experts recommend a minimum of 18 months inter-pregnancy interval. The study was released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is based on 2011 birth certificates from 36 states and the District of Columbia, representing about 83% of the nation's births that year.