If this is not your first pregnancy, you might notice some of the following things go differently this time around:
- Your baby bump will likely start to show sooner than your first one did. After a pregnancy, the abdomen muscles are less taut. The uterus will also probably lean forward more since you’ve already carried one child to term.
- The reactions from people around you may be less intense. Your first child changes you from person to parent; your second child makes you a parent (again). It’s less of a shock to your loved ones if they already see you as a mother or father.
- You may appreciate a bit more privacy this time around. But if you feel like you aren’t receiving as much support as you’d like, reach out to your GP, therapist, or ask for extra help from friends and family.
- It’s the hand-me-down time! You’ll already have most of the stuff you need for a newborn. If you’ve given away some items, beg, borrow, or buy the same way you did the first time. You know what you’re looking for now, so you’ll likely save a lot of time and money on clothes and baby essentials.
- You may notice fewer stretch marks than during your first pregnancy. Your skin has already been stretched from growing with your first baby, so it’s usually a bit more elastic this time around.
- Sometimes when you cough, laugh or sneeze, you’ll experience a bit of light bladder leakage. Your pelvic muscles aren’t as strong as they were before your first baby, so this might happen more often. Practise kegel exercises, and you might want to look into some liners for comfort and peace of mind.
- If you’re pregnant with your second child, you’re already running around after your first. Remember to bend at the knees when cleaning, picking up your little one, or bending down for any reason. This takes a bit of pressure off your pelvic joints.
- You may notice your baby moving around in your womb between two to six weeks earlier than last time, as early as 16 weeks. This is likely because you’re more in tune with the sensation now.
- If you had issues during your first pregnancy, like morning sickness, certain aches or pains, headaches, varicose veins, etc. it’s hard to know whether or not you’ll experience these again. This time around, you’ll know what to look for, so hopefully, you can find relief more easily. Talk to your doctor if you have any issues or concerns.
- Some very good news: if you are planning a natural birth, second labours are usually much shorter and have a lower risk of complications than first labours. It may be half the time! However, there are no guarantees and each birth is different.
- Pushing will likely be easier as your vaginal tissue is trained from last time.
- If you are still breastfeeding your first child and you fall pregnant again, they may lose interest in your milk. This could be because your changing hormones have changed the way it tastes. Your changing breast and body shape may also make your usual feeding positions a bit awkward, so your little one may become reluctant to breastfeed. That’s okay – chat to your GP about when it’s time to cut out breastmilk for your child. Generally, you won’t have issues with this if your child is already older than two.
Growing your family is a very exciting time. Strap yourself in for some sleepless nights, and juggling caring for two little ones with different needs. You may feel challenged at times, but this experience is bound to be rewarding and full of love. If you ever need support, talk to your loved ones and health professionals.