How Soon can We Try Again?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
My husband and I are both 36 years old. We tried for 11½ years before getting pregnant for the first time (without any fertility treatments tried). I did develop gestational diabetes during the pregnancy. Our healthy baby boy was born via cesarean section 5 weeks ago and we have two questions.

  1. When can we begin to try to conceive again?
  2. How long should we try before seeking help from the OB-GYN?

We want to try again as soon as we could as we feel our age is an issue.

Thanks for your time and advice,
Sarah

ANSWER

Hi Sarah,
If you are planning a repeat cesarean, you could probably start trying when your baby is 9 months old, but it may take a little bit of effort if you are still breastfeeding (which I hope you are!). If you will be trying for a vaginal birth, you should not plan to deliver until your baby is at least 2 years old.

Once you start trying, I'd only wait 6-9 months if you are sure you are ovulating and having intercourse at the right time with viable sperm.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.