Birth Spacing: Three to five saves lives.
Couples who space their births 3 to 5 years apart increase their children's chances of survival, and mothers are more likely to survive, too, according to new research. Many women want to space births longer than they currently do. Programs can do more to help them achieve the birth intervals they want. Over the years research has consistently demonstrated that, when mothers space births at least 2 years apart, their children are more likely to survive and to be healthy. Many programs have recommended 2-year intervals, and the message is widely known: In surveys most women say that a birth interval of 2 years is best. Now new studies show that longer intervals are even better for infant survival and health and for maternal survival and health as well. Children born 3 to 5 years after a previous birth are about 2.5 times more likely to survive than children born before 2 years.