Labor And Delivery When You Have Your Second Baby

5 min read

Written by Pradeep


Labor And Delivery When You Have Your Second BabyHow you welcome your second labor and delivery depends on the labor and delivery you go through during the first pregnancy. With a good experience during the first delivery, you will feel less anxious, and if your first delivery was a traumatic one, you may feel nervous thinking of going through the same experience again.

As throughout your second pregnancy period, once you come to the end of it, you always compare the situation with your first pregnancy. It is quite natural to do so. What you should understand is that there is no certainty when it comes to labor and delivery. So, comparing two pregnancies in all aspects may not work always.

In This Article

How Does My Second Pregnancy Differ From The First One?

There is a good chance that not only labor and delivery but also some of the physical and emotional bandwidths will also alter during your second pregnancy. Your body has gone through the entire process of childbirth already.

You don’t get or you can’t enjoy the attention as much as your first pregnancy, as you are busy managing a toddler or a preschooler. Some women say that their second pregnancy period seems to go much faster.

Some major differences that can be during the second pregnancy, labor, and delivery are:

1. Feeling Baby Movements Sooner

A first-term mom usually recognizes the baby’s movement around her fifth month. But during your second pregnancy, you would be able to recognize the movements of the baby towards the end of the third month or the beginning of the fourth month. This is because you already know what a baby moving inside you feels like, unlike your first pregnancy

2. Baby is Lower in Your Abdomen

Baby is Lower in Your Abdomen

During your first pregnancy, your abdominal muscles will get stretched so much that they can get weaker. Hence, during your second pregnancy, the abdominal muscles may not be able to support the baby as in your first pregnancy. This results in your baby dropping lower in your abdomen.

The positive side of this condition is, you can eat more comfortably and breathe more easily, unlike your first pregnancy. The negative side is that your urge to urinate frequently starts earlier due to the pressure added to your bladder and also your pelvic discomfort increases due to the additional pressure on your pelvic area

3. Contractions

During your second pregnancy, your experienced uterus possesses more false contractions called Braxton Hicks than your first pregnancy. These are warm-up contractions, getting the uterus ready for real labor contractions

4. Baby Engagement

The more space in the womb as it is stretched and used before lets the baby continues to change its position until the labor starts. Hence, the second babies are found to engage later than the first babies

5. Labor

As your cervix will be more effaced and dilated than during your first pregnancy when you are admitted to the hospital, this will provide you a head start which helps to shorten the length of labor

  • The labor will progress rapidly and this is also associated with the second pregnancy
  • Contractions become stronger quickly
  • The Baby’s head will pass through the birth canal more easily as the pelvic floor muscles and the elastic wall of the vagina are stretched to their maximum extent before
  • In theearly stage of labor, when the cervix gets dilated to 4 cm, which will take around six and a half hours in the first delivery will be shortened to four and a half hours in the second delivery
  • The active stage of labor where the cervix is dilated from 4cm to 10 cm will take an average of 8 hours in the first delivery and will be reduced to an average of five hours during the second delivery
  • The pushing stage that will last around 2 hours during your first delivery will be extremely short during the second delivery
  • Keep in mind that shorter the labor can also mean more intense labor as the dilating of the cervix and the stretching of the pelvis and vagina happen more quickly

But if your second baby is bigger than the first baby or in an unusual position, all these calculations and assumptions can change accordingly.

What Is The Difference Between Braxton Hicks Contractions And Real Contractions?

Braxton Hicks’s contractions will often stop when you change your positions. So just change your positions once you feel the contractions, like, stand up or walk around if you are feeling the contractions while you are sitting and so on.
Even though Braxton Hicks contractions are false contractions, these contractions can cause some dilation and thinness of the cervix.

The more Braxton Hicks contractions mean a more dilated and effaced cervix. This can make the delivery easier. Early loss of mucus plug – a thick mucus that blocks bacteria and external particles to enter the uterus – has also occurred as the result of the early cervix effacing due to more Braxton Hicks contractions.

Will The Second Baby Be Bigger Than The First One?

Will The Second Baby Be Bigger Than The First One_

The second baby can be a little bigger than the first baby. But this is not a rule that always happens. So this cannot be said with certainty, though there are some changes.

Is The Labor of Second Pregnancy Harder For Older Moms?

This entirely depends upon the health of the mother. If there are no medical complications then it is no need to expect a troublesome pregnancy and labor.

Is A Vaginal Birth Possible After A C-section?

The vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is possible.  However, you have a normal pregnancy, and if the reasons for your first C-section don’t exist. Another factor that determines the possibilities of VBAC is the type of incision made in your uterus during the previous C-section. You can read more about VBAC here.

How Can I Prevent Episiotomy During My Second Pregnancy?

If you have undergone a perineal tear or an episiotomy during your first delivery, you can:

  • Try perineal massage during the last month of pregnancy leading up to labor.
  • By using an upright position for pushing, gravity will help your delivery process, minimizing the chances of episiotomy.

Some other good news regarding the second time pregnancy are:

  • If you experience a vacuum extraction during your first delivery, don’t worry. The chances of vacuum extraction on your second delivery are reduced to 9%.
  • If you have a normal vaginal birth with your first child, the chances of a C-section is less than 2% with your second child
  • The second babies are a bit bigger than the first ones. However, the stitches in the perineum are less likely to occur. Even if needed, it won’t be as many as during the first delivery
  • The risk of having a C-section, vacuum extraction, or forceps delivery with the second child will be lesser. Provided the labor begins spontaneously and will be more in the case of an induced labor

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