You CAN have a pregnancy straight after a stillbirth, researchers find

Women are safe to have a pregnancy soon after a stillbirth without tragic outcomes, research has found.

Some studies have suggested to wait a year or more following a stillbirth to avoid further complications or the heartbreak of enduring another.

However, in one of the largest known international studies to investigate the issue, it does not appear to be a concern. 

The findings, published in the Lancet, are reassuring for women who are in fear they will have a premature birth or stillborn again.

Expectant mothers are usually monitored closely if they have previously had a stillbirth, as studies have shown they are at an increased risk of another. 

Women are safe to have a pregnancy soon after a stillbirth without tragic outcomes, research published in the Lancet has found

Women are safe to have a pregnancy soon after a stillbirth without tragic outcomes, research published in the Lancet has found

A stillbirth is when a baby is born deceased after 24 weeks of pregnancy, and is more common than many people believe, the NHS states.

There are more than 3,200 stillbirths every year in the UK, and one in every 225 births ends in a stillbirth.  

Numbers have been declining - 2017 had the lowest stillbirth rate in the UK since recording began - but many countries, such as Croatia, Poland and Czech Republic, all have better stillbirth rates than UK.  

Researchers at Curtin University, Australia said the time between pregnancies has been identified as a potential risk factor for adverse birth outcomes.

Although there is recommendations for time intervals after an abortion or premature birth, there is limited evidence to inform a recommendation after a stillbirth, therefore one does not exist.

Charities say that making the decision to try again for another baby after a stillbirth is a personal one that must take emotions into consideration. 

The researchers looked at the birth records of 14,452 women who had previously had a stillbirth - which was defined as a baby's death after 22 weeks' pregnancy - in Western Australia, Finland and Norway between 1980 and 2016.

Sixty-three per cent of women conceived within 12 months and this was not associated with increased risk of another stillbirth, preterm birth or small baby compared to women who left two or more years between pregnancies. 

The study found those who conceived within 12 months of stillbirth were no more likely to have another stillbirth, or a preterm birth, than women who left two or more years between pregnancies,

Senior author Dr Gavin Pereira said: 'The World Health Organisation recommends waiting at least two years following live birth, and at least six months following spontaneous or induced abortion to reduce the risk of adverse birth outcomes in the following pregnancy, but there is no

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