Question: My baby is already 8 months, and I missed my menses during the first 2 months after my baby was born. I went to my gynecologist and was given a 2-months dose of hormone medication. During the two months which followed (with medication) my menses returned to normal. However in the month that followed these two months, I did not see my period. I am very worried as I want to have one more kid. Please advise.
Answer: Ideally a couple would want to wait 20 to 40 months between pregnancies, with the earliest interval being nine months after the first delivery. Eighteen months is considered optimal by many.
Researchers at Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogota in Colombia conducted a meta-analysis of studies published between 1966 and 2006. Sixty-seven articles met the criteria for inclusion in the study, representing more than 11 million pregnancies.
For each month that the pregnancy interval was shortened from 18 months, the risk for preterm birth, low birth weight and small for gestational age increased by 1.9 percent, 3.3 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
For each month that the time between pregnancies was lengthened beyond 59 months, the risk for these problems increased by 0.6 percent, 0.9 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
One hypothesis is the maternal nutritional depletion, which suggests that the mother doesn’t have time to recover from one pregnancy to the next. Nutritional deficiency in the mother means the child doesn’t get enough nutrients either.
The reason why extra-long intervals run into problems may be due to the fact that women who have long intervals are getting older, and women of advanced maternal age have an increased risk of some of these problems.
So, do not fret if you menses are not here yet. Once you child starts to take solid foods ( and not breast-feed anymore ), your menses will commence again. It may not be regular in the beginning, but it will find its way there eventually.