Caring for Mothers: Pregnancy Spacing and Birth Outcomes, 2005

Back • Publication Date: June 10th, 2008

Authors: Mary Alice Lee, PhD, Karen Sautter, MPH, and Amanda Learned, BA

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Babies born to women who become pregnant shortly after having a child or who wait many years between children are at risk for adverse birth outcomes such as lower birthweight and preterm birth. Research suggests that 18 to 23 months is the optimal interval between births for reducing the risk of adverse birth outcomes. This report shows that mothers who gave birth with Medicaid coverage (HUSKY A or fee for service) are less likely than other Connecticut mothers to have given birth after this optimal interval. This finding underscores the necessity for ensuring access to family planning services (i.e., contraception methods and counseling) during the interconception period.