Rihanna revealed a baby bump during the Super Bowl halftime show, nine months after giving birth.
It’s possible to get pregnant within weeks of childbirth, but breastfeeding can lower the chances.
Experts recommend waiting six to 18 months after birth to conceive due to risks like preterm labor.
Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show featured an unexpected special guest: a baby bump.
The 34-year-old star’s second pregnancy came as a surprise to fans, in part because she just delivered her and A$AP Rocky’s first child nine months ago in May 2022. And while it’s possible to get pregnant within weeks of birth, according to What to Expect, national medical associations recommend waiting at least six months between pregnancies due to some increased risks.
Still, OB-GYN Dr. Jessica Shepherd, chief medical officer of VeryWell Health, told Insider over text that Rihanna’s pregnancy “is no contraindication to her health,” and that she’s confident Rihanna is working with an OB-GYN to continue a healthy pregnancy.
It’s possible to get pregnant again only 3 weeks after giving birth
It’s possible to conceive as quickly as three weeks after childbirth, according to the UK’s National Health Service. That’s unusual, however, since healthcare providers often recommend waiting four to six weeks after birth to have sex in order to let the body heal — even after a C-section.
Some women have their first postpartum period before they ovulate, and some ovulate first, so there’s no clear marker of when a woman is fertile again, What to Expect reports. Periods typically resume anywhere between six weeks and 18 months after giving birth, the site says.
While the Mayo Clinic says exclusive breastfeeding may offer as much as 98% protection against pregnancy due to the way it suppresses hormones involved in ovulation, that’s only if you’re less than six months postpartum and haven’t resumed your period.
If you don’t want back-to-back pregnancies, contraception post-childbirth is key. You can go back on some types of birth control, like the Nexplanon implant and hormonal or copper IUDs, immediately after giving birth. For birth-control pills containing estrogen, doctors recommend waiting one month after giving birth to get started to reduce the risk of blood clots, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Back-to-back pregnancies can lead to vitamin deficiencies and other issues
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises against pregnancies within six months of each other, and says even those less than 18 months apart come with risks. Some research suggests at least two years of spacing is optimal, Shepherd told Insider.
“The interpregnancy period is an opportunity to for mothers to address mental and physical well-being, and to optimize her health,” she said. “This also leads to improved health outcomes for the infant.”
Back-to-back births can increase the risk of preterm birth, as well as anemia and folate deficiencies in the mom, doctors told Romper. Women who’ve had a cesarean delivery also have a higher risk of uterine rupture if they get pregnant again within a year and a half.
Mental health is a consideration, too, doctors said.
“Postpartum depression does not go away with another pregnancy, so sometimes you can see an increased risk of that because having a newborn and being nauseous and going through all that again can be incredibly stressful as well,” Dr. Alexandria Richards, an OB-GYN in College Station, Texas, told the outlet.
On the other hand, factors like advanced maternal age also come with risks, so some women may decide close-together pregnancies are right for them.
Doctors recommend getting frequent ultrasounds if you get pregnant again quickly, talking to your doctor about additional supplements, and getting screened for depression. “Most babies will do OK as long as mama does OK,” Richards said.