Every pregnancy is different. Just because you've had one child doesn't mean you know exactly what to expect the second time around. The second pregnancy will likely differ in some ways from the first.
If you are expecting an addition to your family, here are 10 things you should be ready for.
1. Your baby bump will appear sooner
Since you've already had a child, your abdominal muscles are probably more stretched. This may cause you to start showing sooner than you did with your first child.
Another reason is that since your last birth, your uterus has, perhaps, not returned to its original size. As a result, your baby bump will begin to show sooner - on average, about one month sooner than your first pregnancy. This time, you may already notice it by the 14th week!
2. The baby begins to move sooner
During their second pregnancies, most women feel movement in their belly earlier than they did during their first. On average, women begin to feel the movement of the fetus between the 18th and 20th weeks. But an experienced mother may feel movement even sooner, since she knows the difference between the actual movement of her baby and... gas!
Some women who are pregnant for the second time already feel the infant moving in their 13th week. But they say that it feels like tiny bubbles or the flutter of butterfly wings.
3. Nausea or "morning sickness"
The morning sickness you experience may not feel exactly as it did during your first pregnancy. If morning sickness did not begin early in your first pregnancy, this does not mean that the second time will be the same. On the other hand, just because you experienced it the first time, there is no guarantee you'll have it during a subsequent pregnancy. Maybe the second time you'll be luckier. Keep in mind, though, that the risk of morning sickness is higher if you experienced nausea and vomiting during your first pregnancy.
Women who experienced severe morning sickness before - known as hyperemesis gravidarum - have a significantly higher risk (15.2%) of getting it again.
4. The baby sits lower
During a second pregnancy, the expectant mother may notice that the baby sits lower than the first pregnancy. This is because the abdominal muscles were stretched during the first pregnancy and became weaker - unless, of course, you are a fitness guru. In most cases, the walls of the abdomen cannot support the child as well as before, so the baby sits lower.
The good news is that now there is less pressure on the lungs, so you can breathe more freely than you could during your first pregnancy. Some women even experience fewer digestive problems, since the stomach is not under as much pressure either.
Now to the disadvantages: the lower position of the baby in the abdomen puts pressure on the bladder, causing you to urinate more often and experience discomfort in the pelvic area.
5. Tiredness and sleepiness
Feelings of constant sleepiness or tiredness are among the earliest symptoms of any pregnancy. This happens because your blood pressure and blood sugar levels drop; the body produces more blood because of the growing baby. Additionally, the level of the hormone progesterone increases, and this makes you feel more tired than usual.
In addition, you are older than you were during your first pregnancy. You also expended a lot of energy on your first pregnancy, and this has an effect on the level of energy you have now.
6. Emotional instability
You may feel quite emotional during your second pregnancy. This is especially true if the child is unplanned. And even if you long dreamed of a second child, you may experience conflicting emotions. Some mothers worry that the presence of a new baby will prevent them from taking proper care of their first child. Others worry about having complications that they may have experienced during the first pregnancy. Many women, who are pregnant for the second time, complain that they suffer from a significant lack of sleep.
On the other hand, you feel like a real professional in matters of childbirth when you talk to women who are pregnant for the first time.
7. Exacerbation of chronic conditions
Many symptoms of pregnancy, such as pain in the back and waist, may manifest themselves earlier during the second pregnancy. Some women may experience varicose veins or hemorrhoids. These problems occur most often in the third trimester. This is because your first pregnancy weakened the walls of the blood vessels as well as the musculoskeletal system.
Women who have previously had problems such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia should be careful during the second pregnancy, because they are at higher risk of developing these complications again. For example, women who had gestational diabetes during their first pregnancy have a 41.3% higher risk of getting it again. For all other women, the chances of getting this are only 4.2%.
8. False labor
Other symptoms of pregnancy, such as uterine contractions, also occur earlier. You will, probably, experience false labor during the third trimester. This happens because the "experienced" uterus begins to prepare for birth sooner.
9.Looking forward to having the child
Many future mothers constantly think about their own condition during their first pregnancy. But during the second pregnancy, most women worry less during the pregnancy itself. Their expectations concerning the child are more comforting. After all, you've already done this before!
10. You know what a newborn baby looks like
During your first pregnancy, you thought that your newborn baby would look like a little angel. By the time you're pregnant again, you already know that a newborn looks like a small, shrunken lump that can cry for hours for no reason at all.
What else you need to be ready for
1. Postnatal recovery will be somewhat different. On the one hand, you know what to expect, and that's good. But on the other hand, most likely, you will have more severe pain after delivery, caused by uterine contractions.
2. After the birth of your second child, your uterus is unlikely to return to its original size on its own. To avoid this, it is recommended that you strengthen the pelvic muscles beforehand with the help of Kegel exercises.
3. You can have more complications during childbirth. In addition, with a second pregnancy, the risk of having a child with Down Syndrome increases.
4. If you become pregnant immediately after the birth of your first child, there are three possible problems in connection with the second child: premature birth, low birth weight, and even a slow rate of growth for the child. This happens because your body did not have sufficient time to fully recover. It's best to wait at least 18 months before giving birth to another child.
5. Don't expect that your girlish figure will return as quickly as it did after the birth of your first child. You'll need to do special exercises to regain the tone and condition of your abdominal muscles.
In conclusion, we would like to say the following: You're not the first woman to have a second child. Don't be afraid of giving birth! Moreover, this time, you are much better prepared for the pregnancy, because you have done it before!
This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.