April 16, 2015 -- About one-third of American mothers have children too close together, according to a federal government study.
Experts recommend mothers wait at least 18 months between pregnancies so their body can recover and improve the chances that the next child is full-term and healthy, the AP reported.
But this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that 30 percent of women who'd had a child got pregnant again within 18 months. The researchers examined 2011 birth certificates from 36 states and the District of Columbia.
The median time to next pregnancy was 2 years, 5 months. About half of women had a next pregnancy within 18 months to 5 years, and about 20 percent had babies more than 5 years apart, the AP reported.
White women had the shortest time between pregnancies (about 2 years, 2 months), while black and Hispanic women tended to wait 2 years, 6 months. The older the mother, the longer the time between pregnancies.