Family planning with Frame Fertility - Ruth Health

Family planning with Frame Fertility

Planning to grow your family after having your first child is an exciting step. It can also be an overwhelming one.

No matter where you are in your family building journey, there are many factors to take into account as you prepare for a new chapter.

Below, our friends at Frame Fertility share what to consider when trying to conceive again.

How does the spacing between pregnancies affect my physical health?

As you determine your family building goals, it’s important to consider the age gap between your children.

It’s biologically possible to conceive as soon as your menstrual cycle has returned after childbirth. (The timing of this varies for each person, and breastfeeding may suppress ovulation.) 

However, research has shown that it’s ideal to wait 18 months between pregnancies. This reduces the risk of health complications for both baby and parent.

Some studies have found that pregnancy intervals of less than six months may increase the risk of preterm births and low birth weight babies.

Additionally, for those who previously delivered by cesarean, shorter pregnancy intervals may increase the risk of scar complications or uterine rupture during another labor.

What about my mental wellness?

If you’ve navigated mental health challenges during pregnancy or after childbirth, you aren’t alone.

14-23% of women will experience a depressive disorder while pregnant, and 1 in 7 women experience postpartum depression (PPD), which can present itself up to a year after giving birth.

Those who have chosen to breastfeed may also experience mood changes during the weaning process.

Your mental health is another impact factor to consider as you plan for additional children. Make sure that you’re feeling ready to take on additional responsibilities, and don’t be afraid to seek support.

Frame coaches can help with stress management and referrals to a therapist if needed.

How does a previous pregnancy impact my fertility?

Each pregnancy is unique, and even if you had an easy time conceiving the first time around, fertility challenges may arise when trying for baby number 2. “Secondary infertility” accounts for roughly 30% of all infertility cases.

Generally speaking, all women become less fertile over time. Studies have shown that the quantity and quality of our eggs declines with age. The changes become more rapid after 35 and again at age 40.

Increased maternal age contributes to some cases of secondary infertility.. When spacing out pregnancies, take time to heal physically and emotionally while keeping your fertility in mind. 

Additionally, some research has shown that there is greater risk for decreased fertility following a c-section — which accounts for more than 30% of births in the US — due to issues with scarring.

While many women who have had a previous c section go on to have healthy pregnancies and live births, it’s important to take care of yourself during the recovery process and discuss any challenges or complications with your provider.

How should I prioritize my health before another pregnancy?

Taking a prenatal vitamin is one of the easiest ways to support your body before another baby.

Many women are depleted nutritionally during the postpartum period, so getting key nutrients in a convenient form is a quick win.

Speaking of nutrition, healthy eating habits are also important for reproductive health. This can be challenging when juggling parenting, a career, and other personal responsibilities, but choosing to prioritize it is a good first step.

Research has shown that the Mediterranean Diet is beneficial for reproductive health., This diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Frame coaches can provide you with more resources around nutrition, dietary habits, and prenatal vitamins.

It’s also helpful to maintain moderate exercise habits. Aim for about 30 minutes a day five days a week.

As a busy parent, you may be relieved to know that this doesn’t mean hitting the gym or taking an expensive studio class all five days. Playing a game of tag or kicking a soccer ball with your child also counts!

Frame Coaches are great accountability partners as you work to reach these goals around movement, whatever they may be.

About Frame Fertility

Frame is your dedicated fertility and family building advisor, supporting you and/or your partner on your family building journey with a one-to-one expert coach who will dig in with you on topics such as finding the best specialist to unpacking your insurance coverage or the best fertility-friendly lubricant.

Keeping up with your health goals can sometimes feel difficult as a busy parent. At Frame we center around you and your fertility and health goals with 1:1 coaching. We serve as a sounding board for questions and concerns while you navigate through this next chapter.

Whatever your conception history and family-build goals look like, we are here to support and guide you along your journey. Questions? Quickly chat with a Frame coach here or text them at (415) 917-1886.

We are proud to share more about their services with Ruth Health members. In particular, they are offering a special 25% discount off of their services for our members, so use code ruth25 when you sign up here.

About the author

Author bio

Arielle Leva is an expert coach at Frame Fertility. Prior to Frame, Arielle spent a decade in the corporate sector as a recruiter for health-tech startups, while also moonlighting as a birth and postpartum doula.

She has a deep passion for products and services that improve patient outcomes and healthcare delivery.

Through her own unexplained infertility journey she became a certified Health Coach, studying behavior change, positive psychology, and other holistic modalities to support people along their path to parenthood.

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