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How soon after pregnancy can you get pregnant?

The current recommendation is waiting at least 18 months for both maternal and baby health.

“How soon can you or should get pregnant are really two different questions,” says Sherry Ross, MD, OB/GYN and Women’s Health Expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. “If you are not breastfeeding, your period can return within six to eight weeks and you can get pregnant again — but it’s definitely not a good idea,” she explains. The current recommendation is waiting at least 18 months for both maternal and baby health.

If you’re more curious about when you have to resume using contraception, the answer is: As soon as you start having sex again. It’s possible to get pregnant even if you’re breastfeeding. You also will be fertile two weeks before your first post-pregnancy period so it's possible to get pregnant before you even have your first postpartum period, which can occur as early as four weeks after giving birth or as late as 24 weeks after baby arrives (or later), depending on whether you're breastfeeding exclusively or not.

 

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