Birth/Child Spacing: Benefits, Risks & Importance of spacing!!

It is not every time we would be firing and firing. There is a time when we have to stop after every delivery, and give good care and attention to the current child, before preparing to welcome another. On the financial side, taking care of one child is not easy, let alone more than one at the same time.

Table of Content

What Is “Child Spacing”?

This is talking about the gap between one child & another child. It simply means how soon after one pregnancy, can a mother become pregnant again.

Child spacing is encouraged because, A woman’s body goes through a lot during pregnancy. It is not a baby making machine. Example of these changes are:

  • Hormonal Changes
  • Skin Changes
  • Stretch marks
  • Weight Gain
  • Full and painful breast
  • Swollen Feet etc

Hence, the woman’s body needs time to RECOVER from these changes before another nine (9) months journey commences.

Image Credits: Dept of public Health, Philippines

Importance of Child Spacing

Child spacing is very important, because;

  1. It allows the child enjoy the love & care of the parents before another one comes.
  2. Reduces Infant Mortality: Children are more likely to fall ill and die if they are born too close together
  3. Manage Limited Finance: Raising children takes a lot of money. Our fathers can bear testimony to this. Spacing children allows the parents to take care of one child before welcoming another, especially if these children are to be given the food, clothing, education, and other opportunities they need to have a good chance in life.
  4. Enables the mother to regain her pre-pregnancy health after delivery as well as allows her time for her personal advancement.

Risk of Improper Child Spacing

There are health risks associated with pregnancies that are not well spaced. That is, those that are either too close or too far apart.

Health Risks Involved With Poor Spacing?

  • SHORT SPACING (< 18months)
    • On The Mother:
  1. Increases chances of the mother having complications that can lead to death.
  2. Preterm Labour, Low Birth weight baby.
  3. Reduced blood level(Maternal Anemia)
  4. Mental Disoder (Schizophrenia)

• On The Child

  1. Breathing problems
  2. Mental disabilities
  3. Malnourished (Low Birth Weight)
  4. Child death.
  • LONG SPACING (more than 5years)
    It increases the chances of the woman having PRE-ECLAMPSIA i.e High Blood Pressure in pregnancy with protein in urine.

What’s The Adequate Time To Wait Before Another Pregnancy?

The World Health Organization, WHO recommends that there should be at least 24MONTHS (2 YEARS) between pregnancies.

I Know you’re asking “Why This?”
So the mother can recover and the child fed well (Breast feeding) & properly taken care off. Less than this time, the woman’s body might not be ready to welcome another baby yet.

How Do I Space My Children?

There are various ways of spacing children. They include;

  1. Calendar method: in this case, you are expected to avoid having sex during the fertile days of the woman’s cycle.
  2. Barrier Method: A condom (either male or female) can be used to prevent entry of the sperm into the vagina.
  3. Contraceptives: The woman might also decide to use a medication or hormonal method (such as the pill, injectables, patch, implants or ring).

Each method chosen has its own level of potency and they are all reversible after the 18-month birth spacing period has passed, thereby allowing the woman to get pregnant again.

So, the message this children’s day is: “Make sure to space your children today. Share the news.”


  • Dr. Echibuogu Nelson Tochukwu

    Dr. Echibuogu Nelson Tochukwu currently works as a medical officer at Prince Of Peace Specialist Hospital in Lagos. He holds an MBBS Degree from the Abia State University. He is a story teller, script writer and a lover of sport. You can follow him on twitter below.

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