After the first child grows up, most parents start getting advice about having a second child as it is believed that it would complete the family. A second child also becomes a sibling for the first one and provides him with someone to play with. However, the decision to have a second pregnancy should be taken very carefully and must be planned beforehand since it has its own set of challenges and is going to test your resolve as parents.
What’s Different in Your Second Pregnancy?
Every pregnancy is different from the other and has its unique characteristics. Thus, you second pregnancy would not be the same as your first one. However, you might find certain similarities in between the two pregnancies. Still, it is almost impossible to tell how a pregnancy would shape up.
1. Will You Show Earlier This Time?
Even though the baby is growing at the same rate as before, you are going to notice your size growing pretty early on. You will feel your waist becoming thick and your clothes becoming too tight for you at a very early stage in your pregnancy. Thus, it is highly likely that you might have to switch to maternity clothes quickly during your second pregnancy than you had to during your first.
2. Will You Feel as Tired This Time Around?
Fatigue is definitely going to be a bigger factor in the second pregnancy than it was in the first largely due to the fact that you would not have enough time to rest as you had previously. You will have to take care of your first child and your partner might not be as supportive this time around as well because he would feel that you can handle pregnancy on your own. Thus, you might have to get more help this time from your friends and family members.
3. Will You Have More Aches and Pains?
The chances of having back pain increases during second pregnancy especially if you have not paid attention to exercise and your abdominal muscles are weak. Thus, make sure that you strengthen your abs before your second pregnancy. In addition to this, try to avoid bending and lifting things as it would help in easing the back pain. The problem of varicose veins also worsens with every pregnancy. To avoid this, you would have to keep your legs and feet in an elevated position.
4. Will You Feel Kicks and Braxton Hicks Contractions Earlier?
Moms that are having their second kids are most likely to start experiencing kicks and Braxton Hicks contractions much earlier than their first pregnancy. The nature of the kicks would be the same as before however, they will start appearing much earlier than they did the first time around. The contractions too will start ahead of their time and you can expect them at least a week earlier than they had the first time around.
5. Will You Be Moodier than Last Time?
The mood swings are going to remain consistent as last time but the reason for these mood changes would be completely different. You will experience mood uplifts when you think about the arrival of the new baby and might get depressed when you think about the future of your family with another newborn. Questions like whether you would be able to take care of the new baby and how it will affect your relationship with your first child and your partner might remain on your mind throughout the pregnancy.
6. What About Other Symptoms?
Even though each pregnancy is different some of the symptoms or problems that you had in your first pregnancy are going to repeat themselves in the next one as well. For instance, constipation, stretch marks and urinary incontinence are some of the pregnancy issues that tend to reoccur with each pregnancy. To avoid these problems you must eat a lot of fiber, keep your weight in check and perform Kegels on a daily basis.
What About Complications During Second Pregnancy?
If you did not have any complication during your first pregnancy, you are not at risk for developing them during your second pregnancy too. However, women who have had complications like preterm labor or preeclampsia might be at risk of having these complications again when they become pregnant. In addition to this, if you have developed a medical condition like diabetes or high blood pressure before getting pregnant than again your chances of having a pregnancy complication become higher.
What About Prenatal Visits During Second Pregnancy?
For women who have had no complications in their prior pregnancy, the frequency of prenatal visits during their second pregnancy would remain the same. They would have to undergo the same blood tests as before excluding those that were done to check for genetic disorders. However, you might find that you have more options available for screening for problems like Down’s syndrome than the last time you were pregnant
How Are Labor and Postpartum Recovery Different in Second Pregnancy?
Labor is generally quicker for second time moms than first timers. Since they have gone through the delivery phase before, therefore, it takes less time for them to be over and done with the labor as well as the delivery phase.
The afterbirth pains in second time moms are much more severe than for first timers. The uterus of women who have gone through a second pregnancy has to contract more in order to regain its original size and because of this the pain felt by the woman is more intense. Losing weight after a second pregnancy is more difficult than the first and you would have to exercise regularly in order to regain your pre-pregnancy body shape.
How to Stay Healthy in Second Pregnancy
1. Watch What You Eat
Since you have to eat for your baby as well, you would have to take in more calories than usual. Make sure that you take lots of protein and calcium and avoid eating any foods that might have bacteria present in them like raw seafood and uncooked eggs. Learn all you need to know about pregnancy diet plan.
2. Take Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are vital for the health of the baby and you must start taking them about a month before your pregnancy starts. The most important among these vitamins are folic acid and iron. You must consume at least 600 mcg of folic acid every day to make sure that your baby does not develop birth defects. Work with your doctor to know what vitamins to take and how much to take.
3. Exercise Regularly
Exercise can help you a lot during pregnancy. It can relieve your stress and build up your stamina that you are going to require during labor. However, exercise should be done in a controlled manner. Do not overburden yourself as you will run the risk of getting dehydrated. Learn all you need to know about pregnancy workout.
Video: Staying Healthy During Pregnancy