When Rihanna emerged on a suspended platform at the Super Bowl halftime show (yikes), decked in a bright red Loewe jumpsuit (swoon), zipped JUST SO as to show her bump, fans all over the world went into speculation mode. Is she just postpartum or is she pregnant?
Moments later her team confirmed that yes, RiRi is pregnant with her second child. Her first, a boy, was born in May. Which led many to ask, is that safe? Can you space your kids that close in age? Is it even possible?
“The answer is this – tons of patients get pregnant quickly,” says Dr. Shieva Ghofrany, an OB-GYN based in Stamford, CT. “We call that ‘Short Interpregnancy Interval,’ which is when you get pregnant less than a year after delivering. In nature, you would’ve had a baby and breastfed, which can suppress ovulation and make it very hard to get pregnant. When you’re breastfeeding, you have less libido and your vagina might hurt, so there’s little sex in the natural world because of nursing. Babies are generally spaced two years apart. But we see tons of patients with a year-and-a-half spacing and even less.”
Dr. Ghofrany does warn that the biggest risks of Short Interpregnancy Interval come with pregnancy intervals of less than six months, which is associated with increased risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and preeclampsia. But we think Rihanna will be just fine, so let’s all be happy for our girl.
But, before we let you go, let’s clear the air on one more thing. Given that breastfeeding is widely considered nature’s own form of birth control, can you still get pregnant while nursing?
“Yes, you can in fact get pregnant while breastfeeding,” says Dr. Ghofrany. “The only way nursing works to stop pregnancy is if you breastfeed exclusively 24/7, and even then it doesn’t always suppress ovulation 100 percent. Also, you can’t use a lack of a period as a sign that you can’t get pregnant, because maybe you were about to get a period on your next cycle and then got pregnant. It’s not common but it’s possible. Only use breastfeeding as birth control if you’re open to getting knocked up.”