While some parents will decide to only have one child, many want to have a larger family with two or more children. Perhaps you were not expecting to get pregnant again and have been surprised by the news. Learning that you are pregnant for the second time can be just as exciting for you as the discovery was the first time. However, being pregnant the second time can be an entirely different experience for you in a number of ways. By understanding what you may expect with this pregnancy, you can more easily navigate through the changes.
Differences with Doctor Appointments
When you were pregnant the first time, your nurses and doctor may have given you special treatment. They may have taken time to answer all of your questions and given you special instructions regarding diet, exercise, prenatal vitamins and more. With the second pregnancy, your healthcare team understands that you have been through this before. You may receive a refresher course and reminders, but the amount of in-depth information you receive may be minimal. If you previously had a high-risk pregnancy, you can receive care from the same maternal-fetal specialist you saw during your first pregnancy.
A Child to Care For
With your first pregnancy, you had ample time to pamper yourself and to monitor all aspects of your health and well-being. You could spend time napping or resting at your leisure, take a walk at will to stretch your legs and more. As a mommy now, your life largely revolves around caring for your child. There is far less “me” time, and you may feel more physically or emotionally stressed than before. If you experience a higher level of stress this time around, try to get relatives or a sitter to watch your baby from time to time, and try to relax by taking baths, doing prenatal yoga (if your doctor says it’s okay) and getting as much rest as possible.
Less Gear to Buy
Unless your pregnancies are several years or more apart, you may still have a lot of the baby gear that you will need from the first pregnancy. Many first-time moms delight in preparing for the baby by shopping for tiny outfits, car seats and nursery furniture, but this experience is reduced with the second pregnancy. While you still may need to pick up a few items for the second baby, the amount of shopping you need to do may be drastically reduced.
Anxiety and fear are common in pregnancy, but many moms who are expecting again find that they are more confident the second time around. There are fewer concerns about what to expect with labor and delivery, how to care for the baby, feeding schedules and more. A common concern may relate to adjusting to caring for two children rather than one, but there is a level of confidence that comes from knowing that you have been through all of this already and have some personal experience with common parenting challenges.
Labor and Delivery Differences
Many labor and delivery experiences are different, but some will be rather similar. In some cases, the first delivery experience may dictate how the second one will go. For example, if you had a C-section with the first one, a second C-section may be recommended. If you barely made it to the hospital with the first baby, you may be instructed to get to the hospital as soon as contractions start. Your doctor will likely work with you to customize a labor and delivery experience based on how the last one went.
A second pregnancy can be easier in a number of ways due to the experience you have, but there are still plenty of challenges to deal with as well. You may have been through all of this before, and you may be able to more easily deal with issues like nausea, fatigue etc. However, it is important to note that no two pregnancies are alike just as no two children are alike. You can use your experiences with the first to more easily navigate through the new experiences that await.