Birth Spacing and Planning

What is birth spacing?

  • In Australia, all women have the right to choose:

    • when they have their children;
    • how many children they want to have; or
    • if they want to have any children at all.
  • Pregnancies that are at least 18 months (ideally 24 months) apart are safer for both mother and baby. This is an international recommendation by the World Health Organisation.

  • When a pregnancy ends in miscarriage or termination, the recommended minimum space to next pregnancy is at least 6 months as this is also safer for both mother and baby.

  • The average woman from an English-speaking, Australian-born background has 2-3 children and usually starts having her children in her late 20s or early 30s.

  • Women can use a variety of methods to prevent an unplanned pregnancies. These methods are called Contraceptives.

Benefits

  • Spacing your births apart can reduce the risk of:

    • having a baby that weighs less than 2.5kg;
    • having a baby born before 37 weeks of pregnancy;
    • excessive bleeding during pregnancy and birth;
    • depression related to pregnancy and being a mother.
  • Birth spacing allows breastfeeding mothers more time to restore important nutrients such as folic acid and iron, and strengthen your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.

Resources