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How many pregnancies are too much for your body?

(129 Posts)
caterpiller Tue 03-Jul-07 23:18:41

I would like to ask any doctors out there, do you think a womans body will only tolerate a certain number of babies succesfully? For example those women who have, say, 10 children, do their bodies suffer a bit more each time or are we designed to regenerate completely after each pregnancy with no lasting damage? Obviously no two women are the same, but I am asking this as a general question.

Hope this makes sense! I amm finding it difficult to put this into words. It is something I have always wondered.

HelenLoveJoyOfSpringfield Tue 03-Jul-07 23:21:09

eg: my mum had 8 children, but 13 pregnancies. I doubt very much if I personally could have any more pregnancies/births than the 2 I already have had.

sweetkitty Tue 03-Jul-07 23:22:29

one completely ruins your body

cylonbabe Tue 03-Jul-07 23:22:58

my nan had 8 pregnancies i think. one of which was twins.
other gran had 9 i think. the ninth onew happened when her eldest was 25, and she obviously recovered fine from that. but according to her, and everyoneelse, it is the thrid pregnancy that ruins your body

Twinklemegan Tue 03-Jul-07 23:23:33

I suspect that in this day and age, most women who get pregnant repeatedly are those who have pretty easy pregancies and births.

LyraB Tue 03-Jul-07 23:24:40

I read a feature about an American woman who was about to have her 17th baby (2 sets of twins) and she still appeared to be in one piece.

agnesnitt Tue 03-Jul-07 23:26:18

From memory:

The body is supposed to be allowed a period of about eighteen months to recuperate before doing the next child thing. So make that roughly one baby for every two years-ish.

A woman is supposed to be of childbearing age from 18-40-ish.

So that leaves room for about ten pregnancies.

If you obey the 'rules' of course.

However, a lot of people tend to not let their body recover after birth. Some like to have their kids in a short space of time, so find their body doesn't always heal as well as it could because they don't give it chance to. One acquaintance has given up after seven, as she got severe PND after her last, and has taken it as a sign that her body is telling her to give it a rest.


<who realises she is rambling, but should really be in bed>

caterpiller Tue 03-Jul-07 23:29:17

That's interesting, Cyclone because it was my first that really changed my body. After that, the effects of the others were less. (I have 5)

The only thing is, since the 5th, my back is not 100%. It doesn't hurt when I'm up but there is no way I can sleep flat on my back, I wake up in agony.

Twinklemegan Tue 03-Jul-07 23:30:35

Bl**dy hell - how does anyone ever dare to have No. 2 even?

caterpiller Tue 03-Jul-07 23:30:44

Agnes, your ramblings are appreciated

cat64 Tue 03-Jul-07 23:31:08

Message withdrawn

agnesnitt Tue 03-Jul-07 23:32:51

Lyra, this would be the woman who doesn't actually have to care for any of her kids as she births them, feeds them for a few months then farms them on to one of her younger kids who then 'buddies' the baby through childhood. She has a pretty easy life of it really, as the kids are all house-trained to an amazing extent.

Scary family, do a search on google for the 'Duggar family'.


ghosty Tue 03-Jul-07 23:33:56

My great grandmother had 11 children and dropped dead from a blood cot (DVT) when the youngest was 2. She was hanging the washing out at the time. She was 42.
My mother had 4 children in less than 5 years. I am absolutely certain the reason she is disabled now is because of the physical strain involved (not just the pregnancies but carrying babies and toddlers for so long)

caterpiller Tue 03-Jul-07 23:36:55

Tha't terrible, Ghosty.

Is your mum in a wheelchair?

LyraB Tue 03-Jul-07 23:37:10

Yes, that's them, the Duggars. A bit weird if you ask me.

ghosty Tue 03-Jul-07 23:39:09

Not yet caterpillar ...
She is constant pain - the bottom 5 vertebrae in her back are fused together with no cartilege <ouch>. She has one replaced knee and one replace shoulder joint. She is due to have her other knee done any time now. She is 67.

agnesnitt Tue 03-Jul-07 23:39:23

They scare me, not just for the number of kids they have, just in general...



KerryMum Tue 03-Jul-07 23:40:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

caterpiller Tue 03-Jul-07 23:42:07

Gosh, your poor mum.

RoseQuartz Wed 04-Jul-07 09:36:09

My grandmother had 9 children and she was absolutely fine, most of dh and my family have had several children really, all of whom were healthy and lived to old age. The most recent being mil she had 7 children and lived to almost 93 years, was active to the very end. Family near us had 15 kids, again mother was in good health, well never heard anything to the contrary anyway. Ironically my mother only had me, and she was old way before her time,and died age 50, and as for myself, well I have had a baby every year for the last 6.5 years and another on the way in new year, my health hasn't suffered in any way whatsover.
As for the lady next door to us - well she never had children and is house bound, as her body has long given up on her. So it goes to show that having babies has nothing at all to do with your state of health, if anything I would say it no doubt improves ones state of mind!
As for the duggar family, sorry to say this, but I don't know what people are going on and on about them with endless negative remarks for?
Yes the mother is expecting the 17th baby this month, and she is in excellent health at age 40/ what, where's the problem?
Some people seem to go after the fact that the older kids have buddies, yes, so what, I don't know any families where the older kids don't help out with the younger ones anyway, so what difference does it make with this family? And as for those who moider that the kids don't get adequate care and attention etc, well bl**dy hell how many parents do we all know of who can't look after one or two kids, everyone seems to have forgotten that someone who has a lot of kids obviuosly want them, otherwise no doubt they would have been prevented.
As for the people who go on and on about them being a very, very religious family, who bombard their kids with bible studies. I'm sure they are very much that way, but having said that, in this day and age, don't you feel there's a hell of a lot worse things they could do?
Personally dh and I intend to have several more babies after #7, and yes I am only a couple of years from the big 40, so what, mil was almost 50 when she had her last baby, and as I said before, she was super healthy right til the very end. She never once said anything bad about anybody, she had the best policy of all, and that was to live and let live. She had no time to interfere with anyone else anyway, she only lived for her own famly, and was totally devoted to them.
Thing is, this is something without any hard and fast rules, I could add that mil was vegetarian, was that why she was so healthy? What about these mothers who smoke throughout their pregnancies, the ones we all see with one hand pushing the pram and the other holding the fag, are they meant to be healthy, doubt it somehow whether they have one child or 21(that was the truth in my own mothers case anyway, its no wonder she was in constant poor health and met her untimely death at only 50). And what sort of message does that portray to their child/ren anyway? See what i'm getting at, its a no win situation. But to imply that mothers with several babies are less healthy than mothers who have 1 or 2,or women who have no kids at all, doesn't make any sense at all to me, as it can go either way.
Surely lifestyle plays a part though?
Sorry to ramble on, I am not having a go at anybody, just thought I'd share my views, that's all, even as worthless as they may be!! lol!!!! Good luck to all who have loads of babies(or just 1 or 2), take care to all who are pregnant, hope all goes well for all. xxx

NAB3 Wed 04-Jul-07 09:39:05

I have 3 children but I have had 4 pregnancies with 5 children. The last baby was one baby too many but that was, imo, because of what had gone on in previous pregnancies.

Moorhen Wed 04-Jul-07 09:40:28

My MIL had ten children - oldest 40 this year, youngest doing GCSEs - and at least 13 pregnancies (one still birth, two mcs). The last two were born by CS.

She's got diabetes, kidney trouble and a few other complaints, which I believe she was told is a result of the strain she put on her body.

They are a fantastic family, though. Am about to have my first, am thinking maybe one more, and am lost in admiration of her fortitude...

QueenofBleach Wed 04-Jul-07 09:48:27

My Aunt had nine over a period of 20 odd years and now looks better then before she had her first

chopster Wed 04-Jul-07 09:50:13

that is awful ghosty and rather scary. I've had 4 kids under the age of 5. One was a twin pg though.

lazyemma Wed 04-Jul-07 09:51:56

My granny had 10 children and 14 pregnancies. She had numerous chronic health problems in middle age which were related to her pregnancies and was barely into her 60s when she had her first stroke. She died at 63.

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