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Planning a Family

Family Planning

Does Size and Spacing Matter? continued...

"While a 2-year-old child is very insecure, and thus a new baby in the family is more likely to cause competition and sibling problems, a child by age 3 is better able to share a parent successfully," says Peterson, author of Making Healthy Families and An Easier Childbirth.

A study at the CDC, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1999, concluded that newborns are healthiest when the gap from birth to the next conception is 18 to 23 months, with less prematurity and low birth weight in babies conceived in this time frame.

Meanwhile, Peterson says that more women are telling her that as they plan their families in the new millennium, they no longer want to be supermoms," and are trying to direct more energy toward enjoying life and making their families a priority. More than ever, she says, "Women are recognizing that there's no such thing as 'having it all.' You can't burn a candle at both ends and still have a candle; it's just not going to be there."

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