These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
Non-evidence based advice abounds on this topic. Couples are frequently
advised to wait three or more months, or wait for three normal cycles.
The rationale for this advice is dubious.
The reasons for deferring another pregnancy are (in no particular order!!!):
Pregnancy wasn't planned anyway and so there is no hurry to get on with
The couple feel so traumatised they want to wait and get their lives in
There is a single paper originating from one of the Hawaiian islands which
showed a slightly higher risk of neural tube defects in pregnancies which
followed soon after stillbirth than pregnancies in which there was a longer
gap. There is great doubt about whether these data are terrible relevant
and whether they can be extrapolated to other populations 40 years later
There are some papers from 1970's and early 1980's. Conducted retrospectively
on couples who did not receive the supportive care and advice which we
would currently feel is mandatory after stillbirth. These studies show
quite clearly that couples who had another pregnancy soon after the loss
were more likely to have experienced morbid grief and significant psychological
disturbance. The problems here are two fold:
Did the couples get pregnant sooner because of their morbid grief and thereby
seek a "replacement pregnancy", such that the early next pregnancy was
a result of their psychological problems rather than the cause of it;
With differences in how such couples are now treated would a similar study
have the same findings ?