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Article Title:
Planning for The Unplanned: Myths and Mysteries of Closely Spaced Siblings

Article Description:
Parents of closely spaced children often find themselves dealing 
with the unplanned.  No time is this more apparent when parents 
discover they are unexpectedly pregnant with one or more young 
babies already in the home. 

Additional Article Information:
724 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Fri Feb  3 01:10:48 EST 2006

Written By:     Anne Arthur
Copyright:      2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

Article URL:

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Planning for The Unplanned: Myths and Mysteries of Closely Spaced Siblings
Copyright © 2006 Anne Arthur
Closely Spaced Kids

Parents of closely spaced children often find themselves dealing 
with the unplanned.  No time is this more apparent when parents 
discover they are unexpectedly pregnant with one or more young 
babies already in the home. 

Many parents of closely spaced children conceive unexpectedly. 
Here are some of the common myths and mysteries related to 
closely spaced children that help explain why having children 
close in age sometimes requires planning for the unplanned.

Myth #1 - You Can't Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding

This is False!  Anyone can get pregnant while breastfeeding.  
For those that breastfeed around the clock, their chances of 
conceiving are generally less than a parent who is bottle-feeding 
or combining breastfeeding with bottle-feeding.  

That said, the less time your baby spends at the breast, the more 
likely you are to conceive.  If you plan to use breastfeeding 
as a form of contraception, be advised that there are strict 
guidelines for doing so.  Even under the best of circumstances 
breastfeeding is not foolproof, and much less effective after 
babies start eating solids (which can be anywhere from 4-6 months 
for most babies.). 

Many parents of closely spaced children find themselves 
unexpectedly dealing with unplanned pregnancies because they 
conceived while breastfeeding. If you truly don't want to 
conceive, you might consider an added form of contraception.  
If you did get pregnant this way, congratulations!  You are 
one of many!

Myth #2 - The Mini Pill Always Prevents Pregnancy

This is also false.  The mini pill is a lower dose hormone pill 
often prescribed breastfeeding mothers to reduce their fertility. 
Because it doesn't interfere with milk production it is 
considered safe to use while breastfeeding.  While usually very 
effective, there are many factors that can influence its 

If for example, you fail to take this pill at the exact same time 
every day, or suffer a bout of stomach flu, or take a course of 
antibiotics even, you may find yourself unexpectedly pregnant!

The mini pill is much less reliable if you use it as a sole form 
of contraception.  Your best bet is back up protection if you 
plan on truly preventing a pregnancy.

Myth #3 An IUD Will Always Prevent Pregnancy

This again is false. In most cases an IUD is an exceptional form 
of contraception.  It may last up to five years.  There are still 
however tales of women whose contraception failed and they became 
pregnant while using an IUD. This may result from multiple 
factors including improper placement. Some women's bodies simply 
reject the IUD.  Whatever the case there are women who have 
become pregnant using an IUD.  While rare, anything is possible.

Tips For Surviving Closely Spaced Pregnancies

The reality is that no form of contraception is foolproof.  
Most women however will experience good results when using 
contraception correctly.  That said many have also gotten 
pregnant even with 'perfect' use. 

So what do you do if you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant and 
expecting two children under two or three under three?  Don't 
panic!  Most mother's natural instinct when they learn they will 
have closely spaced children is to panic.  Fortunately there are 
thousands of other mothers who have gone through the same thing.

You should know as a parent of closely spaced kids or soon to be 
parent, that the baby years are often the toughest.  During the 
first 3 years of life most children need a lot of one on one 
attention and babying.  That said, this period of time while 
challenging is also one of the most rewarding.  

Parenting closely spaced children is a time in life when you 
should forget about planning everything. Toss your schedule out 
the window because nine times out of ten you'll find your 
schedule interrupted by one unexpected event or another.  The 
best way to cope?  Simply laugh as much as you can.  The good 
news is most parents with closely spaced children find they 
eventually adapt and adopt a routine, and that their children 
are better friends and siblings because of their close ages.

If you find yourself unexpectedly expecting again, look to 
friends and family members for support.  Chances are you'll find 
a strong shoulder to lean on, cry on and laugh on when the time 
comes. Parenting closely spaced children is rewarding. Whether 
your pregnancy is planned or unexpected, revel in the mystery 
and miracle that created life. 

Anne Arthur is a freelance writer living in Denver, CO.  
Her new guide, "Double Duty: The One and Only Guide For 
Parents of Closely Spaced Children" is currently 
available at by linking to  
Check out her site for more information and support for raising 
closely spaced children at



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