By Lisa Flam
You gave birth in October and have another baby on the way. But fear not Tori Spelling, you’re in good company.With kids so close in age, sure, there’ll be more feedings and dirty diapers and naps that absolutely MUST be taken for (a little more) peace and quiet. And sleep? Who needs it anyway?Despite the chaos of having babies underfoot, moms of closely-spaced siblings say they wouldn’t have it any other way.Megan Wiley Jordan had two children last year: a daughter in January followed by a son in December.“They celebrated their first Christmas together!” she wrote on the TODAY Moms Facebook page. “This is one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I look forward to them growing up together!”With 1- and 2-year old daughters, not to mention a 6-year-old, Caryn Alves Sylvestre writes: “Lots of work in the early days but oh so much fun.” Moms like that their little ones always have company in the playroom.
“I love that they always have a playmate! It was hard at first but I wouldn’t change it for the world!” writes Lyndsay Szymanski, whose children, ages 3 and 4, are 12 1/2 months apart.We don’t know exactly how close Spelling’s children will be. The 38-year-old actress and reality star revealed on her website on Friday that she and husband Dean McDermott are expecting their fourth child. “We feel truly blessed that another angel has found us,” she wrote.Their newest angel will join siblings Liam, 5; Stella, 3; and 5-month-old Hattie. McDermott, 45, has a 13-year-old son, Jack, from his previous marriage.Although everyone seems to have such strong opinions of the baby-making habits of celebs, there is no hard and fast rule as to when you should conceive again.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says in its book “Your Pregnancy & Childbirth Month to Month” that “doctors believe that babies conceived less than six months (or more than five years) after you give birth have a higher risk of preterm birth, low birth weight and small size.”
Dr. Pamela Berens says the increased risk of preterm birth for a conception within six months is slight, and research shows that the optimal interval between giving birth to avoid those problems is 18 to 23 months. (That's waiting at least nine months to conceive.)
Still, she tailors her advice to each patient, taking factors like age and history of preterm labor or miscarriage into account. “It’s not a black and white answer,” says Berens, a professor of obstetrics and reproductive sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
“The biggest risk for preterm labor is having had it before,” she said. “That’s the woman I’m going to be more concerned about.”
“In somebody without a prior problem with early delivery or a baby not growing well, I don’t usually say there’s any kind of negative to it,” Berens said.
When it comes to Spelling, Berens can relate. Berens found out she was pregnant again when her first child was just six months old.
“At the time it didn’t seem so bad because he couldn’t move,” she said of her first-born. “But then he could move and I had a huge belly and it was quite difficult to chase him. It was hard."
A mom of four, Berens notes that the second pregnancy presented only a practical difficulty: “It has nothing to do with medicine. That’s just being a mom.”