When Your Second Pregnancy Isn’t Like Your First
First of all, congratulations! How are you feeling about everything this time? Each pregnancy is totally different. You may be left wondering why things don’t quite feel the same the second time around. You might feel more relaxed without those beginner butterflies. Perhaps you feel nervous about juggling the highs and lows of being pregnant whilst taking care of a child all at the same time. One obvious difference is you may have fewer antenatal appointments than the last. The NHS has a list of antenatal appointments if you want more information.
Common differences and tips for second pregnancies
The great thing is according to nct.org.uk your second birth is more likely to be quicker and more straightforward. I had a truly amazing and quick birth with my second child but labored for a long time with my first child. The second baby was also a lot bigger! It’s great to write down a birth plan and be vocal about your needs if things didn’t go the way you liked with the first. This can help you feel more in control. Always make sure your midwife or qualified medical practitioner is aware of any previous pregnancy or postpartum complications. If you are ever worried about any aspects of your pregnancy it’s really important to reach out and get those checked.
My second pregnancy wasn’t like my first.
I was definitely showing earlier! The uterine and abdominal muscles are understandably looser after the first pregnancy so this is quite common. I had fewer obvious symptoms like morning sickness which made things easier. I have spoken to friends, though, who said the complete opposite such as increased back pain due to ‘carrying lower’ and stronger Braxton Hicks contractions. Try a maternity support pillow and avoid lifting heavy objects if back pain becomes an issue.
I was also waiting for my second-trimester energy boost but it never did quite happen!
As soon as my body was using less energy building the placenta in the first trimester I felt like I could conquer the universe. With a toddler and a career to navigate the second time around, I never did quite get that surge I’d hoped for. So it’s realistic to expect more tiredness! Meditating for a few minutes a day, prenatal yoga, avoiding caffeine and eating nutritious food are some great fatigue-fighting tips.
I also didn’t get as much time to revel in the birth build-up as my toddler took over as the queen of the house.
It’s great to reconnect by taking some time at the end of the day to stroke your belly and talk to your beautiful baby-to-be. If you are struggling with your mental health or coping with the demands of life, reach out to an online community of mothers. Apps like Peanut or opening up to a trusted friend are both good options. Being part of a group of like-minded and supportive folk can be so rewarding. I picked up so many hints from my friends. Getting a plan for babysitting my child whilst in labor, remembering to accept offers of help and how to talk to my daughter about her little brother coming into the world- were just a few.
Remember you are doing the best you can. If things are a bit tougher this time around, take time to be self-compassionate to reduce any of that annoying mother guilt. This may even be your last pregnancy so enjoy the happy moments and try to float through the trickier times.