Pregnancy can be tough on the body. The amount of time you wait between pregnancies can affect your health and your family's well-being. Research shows that getting pregnant within 6 months of giving birth can lead to poor health outcomes for both the birthing person and their baby. This is where birth spacing enters.
Explore this page to learn more about the importance of birth spacing, birth spacing methods, and birth spacing resources.
What is Birth Spacing?
Birth spacing is the time between the birth of your child and your next pregnancy. In other words, how far apart your children are in age. Experts recommend waiting at least 18 months between having a baby and getting pregnant again.
Here are some common reasons why birth spacing may benefit you:
You give your body time to recover
You will have more time to bond with each baby
Your future babies are more likely to be born at term and at a healthy weight
You will have more time to practice self-care
You can space out your breaks from school and/or work over a longer period of time
You will have fewer child-related bills at one time (for example, you won't have to buy as many diapers at once)
How to Space Out Pregnancies
Did you know that you can get pregnant almost immediately after giving birth? If you do not want to have more kids, or you want to wait for a while, the best way to prevent pregnancy is to use birth control.
It is a good idea to start thinking about this decision while you are still pregnant, since you'll need to start birth control soon after you have your baby. Each person is different, so there is not a single birth control method that is better than others--it depends on what you want and need. Your doctor can help you choose the best method for your situation.
If you plan to breastfeed your new baby, make sure your doctor knows about your decision. Some birth control methods should be avoided while breastfeeding.
To explore methods, you can visit uchoosebaltimore.org. There, you sort methods by what matters to you most and you can also find clinics that will take care of your sexual and reproductive health needs. On U Choose, parents who are also students can also learn about Title IX, the law that requires all schools to allow you to participate fully.
There are a lot of places in Baltimore City where you can get confidential and affordable birth control. Here are some options for how to get and pay for birth control.
Birth Control Resources
Maryland Family Planning Program
If you need help paying for birth control, HealthCare Access Maryland can help you apply for this program.