Getting pregnant a second time? Clearly things are not going to be the same as you would have your first child to take care of, and you’ve been through pregnancy and labour once. Whether emotionally or physically, you and likely those around you will respond differently to your second pregnancy and here are 12 differences!
#1 You will notice your baby bump sooner
As your ligaments and muscles have expanded and stretched in your first pregnancy, the baby bump in your second pregnancy may show up sooner. This will likely be more evident with each pregnancy.
#2 You may (just) forget that you’re pregnant!
In your first pregnancy, you would likely be a lot more worried and read up a lot of what to expect with each week of pregnancy. However, now that you have a young child to take care of and possibly juggling a host of other roles and responsibilities, you may just find yourself forgetting that you’re pregnant!
#3 You still watch your diet, but likely not as strict (or paranoid!) about it
Not eating raw food, or fish that are high in mercury, are probably things that you are still mindful of. But reading all the food labels or going organic for everything you possibly can, may not be as high on your priority list. With a young child around, you may not even find time to eat properly but that’s important – be sure to take a balanced diet and enough fluids, and not so much coffee.
#4 You don’t get as much pampering
It’s much less likely that your family and friends are going to fuss over your second pregnancy, and by the same measure, make way to give you pampering time or perks. Don’t forget to carve time for yourself and remind your husband that it’s his second child and you still deserve your break!
#5 You may feel more back pain
With the second and each subsequent pregnancy, the fetus’ position may be lower and thus exert more pressure on your lower back. This is because your abdominal muscles are weaker (so keep up those abs exercise!) and your fetus drops lower. Your body may also release the hormone relaxin earlier and causes your body to be more susceptible to aches and joint pain. Moreover, you are likely to have much more to carry now with a young child (such as your first child, the stroller and more grocery items!), compared to your first pregnancy. Be mindful of not bending your back to lift heavy items, and do protect your back.
#6 You get less excited about nursery decoration
Your home may or may not have another room for your second child and you’d likely not feel as excited about nursery decoration. Maybe you would use the existing nursery for your second child, or create another space within your room – rather than decoration, you’d more likely be concerned with how to keep your older child from your newborn when the latter is taking a nap.
#7 You may give pregnancy documentation a miss
If you’ve been documenting your pregnancy bumps and taking pictures to record your tummy size in your first pregnancy, you may not have done that in your second pregnancy. Ultrasound pictures may have been tucked in your bag and forgotten, and you may not have bothered to record your baby’s length in your scrapbook or journal.
#8 You may still be worried in your second pregnancy, but likely about different things
For your second pregnancy, instead of worrying how it’d go at delivery, you may be more worried about having time to rest, how you’re going to manage two kids in your home and who can take care of which kid when you’re not available.
#9 You may feel more tired in your second pregnancy
Your body still has to undergo the same changes to many of your systems such as the cardiovascular system, endocrine system and musculoskeletal system. But this time you’re managing it all with a young child to take care of, which makes the likelihood of having the time to rest less likely.
#10 You may have worse varicose vein
For those prone to varicose veins, it may get worse with each pregnancy and therefore it is important to wear special support hose and elevate your feet and legs. Exercise will also be helpful.
#11 You may experience more Braxton Hicks contractions
It is more likely to notice Braxton Hicks contractions earlier in the second pregnancy or more of it as your body has learnt to recognize these contractions.
#12 The good news – a shorter labour
Thus far, a second pregnancy hasn’t seemed all that better than the first but the silver lining is that as your uterus and cervix have been through labour before, thus most second pregnancies follow through with a shorter active labour and pushing time.
Even though you’re carrying your second child with the first one to take care of, it is important to take care of yourself. Start eliminating things to do either by not doing them (for instance, reducing the frequency of certain chores) or delegating them to someone else (your spouse, or get your clothes to laundry and save time ironing). With two children, it’s definitely time to “work” smart at home!