If you’re thinking about expanding your family, thoughts of pregnancy round two might have crossed your mind. But instead of wondering what childbirth will be like, you’re probably wondering how this pregnancy will differ from the first. Or maybe even how you’ll handle it with a toddler at your side. As you plan for baby number two, expect a few differences:
You’ll Know What to Expect
For your first pregnancy, everything felt new and different. The sensation of a tiny baby growing inside of you was novel, and you may have worried about every new symptom that developed. With a second child, you generally know what to expect. Use this knowledge to your advantage to make sure your pregnancy goes smoothly. If you notice a significant problem that you didn’t experience during your first pregnancy, talk to your obstetrician to make sure everything is okay.
With your first pregnancy, you may have gone to the doctor almost as soon as you found out. With the second, you probably know that most practitioners won’t schedule a visit before you’re eight weeks along, according to BabyCenter.com. A due date calculator can help determine your due date and help you know when to schedule the first appointment.
You Might Notice Movement Earlier
The second time around, you may feel the baby move earlier than before. Your baby isn’t actually growing faster — you’ve probably just gotten better at knowing what those movements feel like. Many first-time moms mistake fetal movements for gas or hunger pangs and don’t feel the baby move until sometime between week 16 and 25, according to Web MD. But by their second pregnancy, some women start to feel movement as early as 13 weeks.
You Might Feel More Aches and Pains
With a second pregnancy, everything might feel a bit more difficult than the first. Many second-time moms experience more aches, pains and fatigues during their second pregnancy. Some of this may be due to the stresses of chasing a child around or having less time to rest. Even though you may feel pressured to fight through the pain and fatigue, take time for yourself. Researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine report that exercising to strengthen your back and core muscles can reduce backaches and common pregnancy pains. Talk to your doctor about exercises that are safe for you.
Expect Faster Labor and Delivery
In many cases, a woman expecting her first child may be in labor for more than 24 hours. Expect things to be faster the second time around. Part of this is simply experience on your part; you’ll know what the different stages of labor feel like, so you’re better at gauging when to head to the hospital. However, there are physiological reasons behind the fast labor and delivery. The cervix dilates more quickly during subsequent pregnancies, speeding up the process, according to Upstate Medical University.
Your Partner May Not Be as Excited
With baby number one, you and your partner likely felt sheer excitement and nervousness about the big changes coming your way. But this time around he may not be so enthusiastic. Try not to interpret this as a lack of interest in you or a sign that he doesn’t care. The stress of caring for a child and preparing for another may be overwhelming for your partner. If you’re feeling down about this, clearly communicate your need for your partner to celebrate little milestones (like feeling the baby kick) to make your second pregnancy feel special.
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