Second pregnancy differences you may experience
If this is your second pregnancy, or another subsequent pregnancy, there may be some differences that you will experience from your first pregnancy. Of course no two pregnancies are the same, and no two women are the same.
1. Second pregnancy: feeling pregnant
Purely because you have actually been pregnant before, the chances are that on your second pregnancy or other subsequent pregnancies, you will sense that feeling of being pregnant sooner. The signs are more familiar to you from the first time round.
Early pregnancy symptoms can be easier to recognise during your second pregnancy. Of course as your second pregnancy will be different in some ways to your first, the symptoms may present differently also. For example, during your second pregnancy you may have either more morning sickness or less morning sickness. Your urination patterns may also differ from your first pregnancy.
2. Feeling tired
Your level of fatigue may also vary from your experiences during your first pregnancy. As you are carrying a different baby, the effects can be different purely for this reason. However some women may have developed a higher threshold to fatigue, after the experience of their first pregnancy.
The flipside of this is that when you become pregnant for the second time, you will be taking care of your first baby or child. Juggling this with your second pregnancy can, of course, lead to feeling quite tired.
3. Looking pregnant during your second pregnancy
Having already given birth, your uterine and abdominal muscles are going to be more relaxed than before. This means that you will start to look pregnant earlier on your second pregnancy, than you did in your first pregnancy. Your second baby may be either small or bigger than your first baby, and this will also influence how you feel and look.
However some women do experience more pregnancy pains and backache during their second pregnancy and subsequent pregnancies, purely because of how the muscles have become in those areas.
4. Second pregnancy feeling fetal movement
Feeling fetal movement during your second or subsequent pregnancies will be easier. You may enjoy reading more about feeling your baby move.
If you haven’t had enough time to shed those extra pounds pregnancy, baby’s first little kicks and movements may not be quite easy to feel.
5. Delivery may be easier
As your muscles have become looser during childbirth, giving birth second time around may be easier than during your first pregnancy. Of course the story is not the same for all women, as there are many other factors to consider.
6. Second pregnancy excitement
The level of excitement is a very personal thing, and no doubt life circumstances will influence greatly. It may be that you were very keen to conceive at this time, in which case you may be just as excited as you were about your first pregnancy.
However don’t feel bad if you don’t feel quite so excited, as during your first pregnancy. We all know how it is from experience for the first time, especially if we really wanted it. While it might be very good news it is quite normal not have such high excitement levels as first round.
7. Second pregnancy concerns
Some women feel so grateful that everything went well with their first pregnancy and that they gave birth to a perfect baby. This can lead to some anxiety second time around, and wondering if the situation will be so positive second.
Don’t feel that this is unusual, as many women feel these types of concerns in subsequent pregnancies. Do however, be sure to talk to close friends and family, and express your concerns to your medical team as well. It is very important feel supported during this time, and not feel isolated.
Another concern is finding the best way to let your first baby or child know that he or she will have a little brother or sister. How you choose to deal with this is very personal, but it is normal to be concerned about doing it in the best way possible. Lots of siblings will be excited that there is a new baby on the way, when it is presented positively to them.
8. Weight gain between pregnancies
On one hand the pressure that society puts on women to get back there pre-birth body as soon as possible after giving birth can seem over the top at times. However if you are hoping to have a second baby relatively soon after, purely from a medical standpoint, it does make sense to become as fit and healthy as possible, before your second pregnancy.
Scientifically less attention has been paid to the issue of weight gain in between pregnancies, then has been paid to obesity as an issue generally before and during pregnancy.
The lifestyle changes that come with having your first baby can make it seem almost impossible to take care of yourself, in terms of reaching a healthy weight, before you conceive again.
Ideally if you’re hoping to have your family relatively close together, it is something to bear in mind, without letting the media make you feel bad about your self image. If you can find a way to concentrate on the sensible approach of combining some physical activity with healthy eating, that balance approach will stand you in good stead when you are ready to try to conceive again.
Here is a study from the Coombe about second pregnancy weight gain, featured in the Irish Times.
Midwife sonographer facilitated
Consultant Led, Centre of Medical Excellence
All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.