What To Expect In Your Second Pregnancy And How To Brace Yourself

5 min read

Written by Pradeep

Pradeep

What To Expect In Your Second Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be very exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Even if you have prior experience and have handled motherhood like a pro, you are bound to be nervous. The second time around, the nerves and anxiousness are slightly different from the first pregnancy. It is not completely the fear of the unknown.

When you get pregnant the second time, you are bound to feel more confident and in control than your first time. You know what to expect and certain events may not startle or take you by surprise this time. So, what can you expect in your second pregnancy and how can you prepare yourself for it? Here are a few facts you must know.

In This Article

How Will Your Second Pregnancy Differ From Your First?

Though it is a “second” pregnancy, it will be different from what you remember, in most ways. Some of the obvious differences most women experience are

  • Your baby bump will show sooner as your abdomen muscles are laxer.
  • You will feel the kicks sooner and stronger as pregnancy progresses.
  • Some women may experience Braxton Hicks sooner.
  • You may also go into labor a little sooner than before.
  • You may have more frequent backaches and body pains than before. If you have exercised to strengthen your body before pregnancy, these aches could be far lesser.
  • If you had a smooth first pregnancy, you would be more confident about your physical capabilities this time. On the contrary, if you faced complications, you might second guess yourself a lot.
  • You will feel more drained than during the first pregnancy but if you observe closely, you would be doing more activities than you did the last time. The reason? Your firstborn!
  • You never felt guilty when you had to take a nap during your first pregnancy – it was for your and your baby’s health. But this time? It is definitely different. You may feel guilty that you are taking a break and compromising on your first child.

Can You Expect Any Complications in Second Pregnancy?

Can You Expect Any Complications in Second Pregnancy

No pregnancy is free of the possibility of complications. There is always a chance for complications to crop up, but it is not a guarantee. You can enjoy a smooth and complication-free pregnancy, most of the time.

If you had any complications in your first pregnancy, it is natural to expect the same or sometimes even worse. It is a human mentality to fear the occurrence of something you have suffered through.

In case you had gestational diabetes, hypertension, or other health complications the first time around, you can expect the same or sometimes even more during the second pregnancy.

For those who went through pre-term labor, placental abruption, or pre-eclampsia last pregnancy, you have the risk of it repeating the second time too.

Second Pregnancy After Cesarean

First, you need to consult your doctor about when you can start trying. Cesarean birth is bound to weaken your core. Your body needs more time to recover than natural birth. Once pregnant, there won’t be much difference in the pregnancy as such. You will only face the differences mentioned earlier.

When your first delivery was a C-Section, you will have to decide

  • Whether you want to try a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section) or go for another C-section
  • If you decide on a VBAC, your doctor must be on-board with your decision. In case they are not ready, you may have to get a second opinion as things might get a little complicated during the delivery process, just like with any other pregnancy.
  • If you decide on a second C-section, you will have to prepare yourself and your first child for your stay in the hospital for a minimum of 3 days.
  • In situations where your second baby is bigger than the first and you have not been very active or your core is not strong enough after the first delivery, you need to be careful towards the end of the pregnancy. Your doctor might suggest the delivery be sooner than the due date if they feel the suture area is expanding too much.

How Can You Cope With Your Older Child?

How Can You Cope With Your Older Child

When you get pregnant again, your biggest concern and challenge will be your firstborn. You will have to tread carefully and help the child cope with the big change in their life. Here are a few tips you can try:

1. Spend More Time

Spend more time with your first child. It is definitely easier said than done, but you need to find little pockets of time in your daily life and spend it with your child. Strengthen your bond before the next child arrives. It will help reduce insecurities.

2. Talk to Them

Talk to your child and understand their feelings, emotions, and fears. You may think they are too young, but you will be surprised at how much a child can understand at that age.

3. Prepare Them

Mentally prepare them for a sibling. Teach them about what to expect, how to care for the baby, and how tiny and dependent the baby will be. When they know what is coming, they can handle it better.

4. Inform About Your Hospital Stay

If your child is not used to staying away from you, prepare them for your hospital stay. Leaving them with another family member for a few days and nights can be very traumatic, especially if they perceive it as you are ignoring them to stay with the baby.

5. Another Family Member

Get them attached to and used to another family member apart from your partner. They need to be comfortable with another person, to not feel insecure or ignored.

5. Routine

Set a routine before the baby arrives. Set a time for waking up, meals, reading, playing, mommy-baby time, bedtime routine, etc. If you follow the same routine, your child will be reassured and not cope better.

6. Independence

Train them to be independent. This will be easier on you too. Teach them to do age-appropriate things, eating on their own, using the toilet, cleaning up after themselves, and other basic things.

Will After Delivery Recovery Be Different In Second Pregnancy?

In many ways, it will be. Your body is older than it was and might take more time to recover. However, mentally, you may recover sooner as you know what to expect and you have another child to take care of.

You may have started the pregnancy with a higher weight and so losing your pregnancy weight may be difficult for some. However, if you follow an active lifestyle and take some time for your health regularly, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Your body goes through the trauma of delivering a child, yet again. So, it may recover differently and need more time. be kind to yourself and give yourself that time.

Second pregnancy can be very similar yet very different from your first. The key is to be prepared for it and not have too many expectations from yourself. You need to relax and take things in your stride for a smooth and stress-free experience.

FAQ’s

1. Will I Deliver Sooner The Second Time?

If you had pre-term delivery the first time, then it can happen again. Since your muscles are weaker after the first pregnancy, the delivery may happen sooner or quicker.

2. Will my Hormonal Changes be Different During The Second Pregnancy?

Hormonal fluctuations can be very unpredictable. You may experience mood swings and cravings very differently when compared to the first pregnancy.

3. Can I Predict The Type of Delivery in my Second Pregnancy?

If you are going for an elective C-section, you can predict. Otherwise, anything is possible. It can be a smooth second-time vaginal birth, a sudden C-section, or a VBAC.

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