Many things in your body have changed since you were last pregnant though many may have remained the same. Remember, each pregnancy like each child, is different and unique. On one hand, you are likely to be more relaxed and confident of yourself as you are now an experienced expectant mother, while on the other hand you may have less time for yourself or pregnancy books and pregnancy magazines as you already have another child to attend to.
Here are some of the ways in which you can expect your second pregnancy to be a whole different experience.
After your first pregnancy, your uterus does not shrink back entirely to its pre-pregnancy size. This means that it is prepared for pregnancy, and you tend to see the pregnancy paunch a little earlier.
You might notice your baby kicking and moving in the uterus earlier than the 1st pregnancy. This in no way means that your baby is growing faster or has started moving earlier than your first child did. It simply implies that you can recognize your baby's gentle wiggling, and kicking in your womb earlier because of your experience.
It is quite likely that your second pregnancy belly may be lower down on your abdomen. This is because in most cases, the abdominal muscles are stretched by the previous pregnancy and are not as strong as before. Carrying the baby lower increases the pressure on the pelvis and the bladder area and increases the urge to pass urine more frequently. Learn and practice Kegel exercises regularly to strengthen your pelvic muscles.
Carrying the baby lower puts additional strain on your back muscles, leading to back pain. Weather you did or did not have back pain during your first pregnancy, it is important to take care of your back from the beginning during your second pregnancy. Avoid lifting and carrying heavy objects. If you have to lift or pick up objects, bend your knees to sit down and then pick up them up instead of stopping from your back.
Expect yourself to feel more fatigued and tired this time around. During the second pregnancy, everyone assumes that you are experienced and no one has time for you. As a mother of a toddler or an older child, you are already on your toes and have little time for yourself. Make sure that your diet during pregnancy is healthy and nutritious. Eat well and get adequate sleep and rest.
If your older child is still a toddler or is used to being with you day and night, then it is time to prepare him for a sibling. Training him to go to sleep by himself now will make things easier for everyone once the baby comes in.
Tender loving care is showered on you as an expectant first time mother during your first pregnancy. However, second pregnancies require more love, care and support from family as your body is not as strong as before. Make your health and well-being a priority, and talk to your spouse about the additional support you require.
If you have had a normal delivery, then it is quite likely that you may have a normal delivery the second time round too. You can expect the labor to be shorter and the delivery easier. This is because your previous delivery has made cervical dilatation easier.
If you have had a planned pregnancy or a C-section earlier, and want to try a normal delivery this time, then talk to your doctor in advance. Make sure that the hospital you select has the facility of a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) and that the doctor supports and respects your decision. Typically, it is not possible to have a vaginal delivery if you have had a C- section the first time.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.
Also read: Pregnancy is Mixed Bag of Feelings