So you are pregnant with your second child and are probably wondering if this go around will be similar to your first? We have put together a guide to help you know what to expect the second time around.
Will Your Symptoms be Different?
You may notice that you are experiencing different symptoms being pregnant with your second child. One of the biggest differences you may experience is that your bump may be getting bigger sooner than before. This is usually because your stomach muscles have already been stretched out before.
Another thing that you might notice earlier is feeling your baby kick or move sooner. This may be largely because you already know what it feels like so it will be easier to recognize this go around. You might begin to feel your baby’s movements as early as 14 weeks compared to your previous 16 to 20 weeks along.
During your second pregnancy, you may be feeling more tired than you remember. This time you are probably now chasing after a toddler, on top of your daily chores, or work that used to come so easily.
Morning sickness might occur if you didn’t have it the first time. But if you did have morning sickness during your first pregnancy, you will more than likely experience it again.
Try to Watch the Weight you Gain
A Swedish study found that proper weight gain during your pregnancy, is not the only weight to be concerned with. The amount of weight that you gain between your pregnancies can prove risky for your baby as well. The study found a possible link between the weight that a woman gains between her first and second pregnancies and the risk of infant mortality and stillbirth.
From the women in the study, 15 percent gained a minimum of 13 pounds between their pregnancies. They found that a weight gain of as little as 12 pounds between pregnancies can put a second baby at risk.
Mothers with BMI that rose more than four points between pregnancies were at an increased risk of their baby dying before four weeks of age by 50 percent. A BMI increase of more than four points raises this number to 60 percent.
In return mothers who kept their weight down between pregnancies actually reduced the risk of infant death by 50 percent, compared to women that gained.
Every Birth is Different
While your labor may follow a similar path to your previous pregnancy, it may also be entirely different. Labor for first time moms lasts an average of eight hours for women. Once you have had one child, the average labor time goes down to five hours. Pushing and the birth itself goes down from three hours for first time moms to two hours.
If your first birth was rather difficult, you may find that things become easier this time around. You will likely feel more prepared and able to anticipate what is to come. But on the other hand, if your labor and birth was rough, you may feel anxious or have worries about your next one. If you are concerned or feeling anxiety about what is to come, try and schedule an appointment with your midwife or a doula to help ease your mind.
If you had a cesarean birth, it is possible to have a VBAC, vaginal birth after caesarean for your next. This will depend on your reasons for your previous caesarean among other health concerns your physician may have. About three out of every four women who have had a previous caesarean go on to have a successful VBAC.
Preparing for Two
Managing the early days with a newborn and an older child can prove to be quite challenging. Here are a few things that you can do to prepare for the days to come to help to make it a little easier :
- Find Daily Help – Finding friends and family who can help will take a lot of the load off. Perhaps get some to make meals for the days after your birth or to come help with the daily chores. If your older child is used to sleeping near you, see if your partner can work on putting them to sleep so that you can focus on the newborn or sleep when the time arises.
- Utilize Childcare – If your child is in childcare, utilize this for the first few weeks if you can afford it. This will help give you the time you need to concentrate on your newborn and to get the sleep your body will need.
- Do Your Research – There are books that you may find useful to help prepare you for a new baby in your current family dynamics. They can help you to prepare your older child for what is to come, as well as teach you some tricks to ease into the transition.
- Mentally Prepare- You are probably in a very different place in life this time around. Your days are probably filled between house work, chasing after your toddler, and perhaps even work outside of the home. Try and find the time to get out of the house and do something for yourself within the madness. Your body will thank you for the break and relaxation.
Breastfeeding Round Two
You may even still be breastfeeding for your first child. Nursing during pregnancy does not reduce the quality of your milk for your growing baby. But as your placenta grows your milk production can drop which may make your breast milk begin to taste salty. Due to this many babies chose to wean from breastfeeding on their own during pregnancy.
If you were not able to breastfeed your first child, a study shows that your milk may come in easier for your second child. Talk to your OB or midwife about what you would like to do and they can help you prepare for your baby’s arrival.
Try and Enjoy your Pregnancy
Things are about to change all over again once your new bundle arrives. Try and remember to find the time to enjoy your new little addition. Yes, things will probably go differently for your actual pregnancy, but many women feel more confident because they have been through the process before.
Once your little one arrives it might take some time to figure out schedules for the entire family, but with time you will find your new normal.
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