20 New (And Surprising) Things That Only Occur During Your Second Pregnancy
For many people, having a child is a right of passage. It is, after all, a part of the circle of life. And it's no secret that pregnancy is a special time. Expectant women eagerly watch their baby-to-be growing in their stomach as their body changes by the day. The nine-month gestation period is so intimate that many women are even able to accurately predict the sex of their baby.
It's also an exciting time for the friends and family of the woman expecting, and, as we moms know, they're quick to offer up their advice - whether it's about breastfeeding or simply losing that pesky baby weight.
But when a woman falls pregnant for a second time, things aren't quite the same, and while she might feel like a relative old hat at birthing another human, there's a number of new (and surprising) things which happen that don't take place during a woman's first pregnancy.
1. Your bump grows faster
As much as most of us moms wish this wasn't the case, a pregnancy takes its toll on a woman's abdominal muscles, leaving them weakened. This is why a bump grows faster during a second pregnancy - although this doesn't necessarily mean that your baby is going to be any bigger. So get your maternity clothes at the ready and accept that you're going to balloon!
2. You're more knowledgeable
When a woman falls pregnant for the first time, she'll typically spend hours researching the changes that are happening to her body. In fact, it's more than likely that she'll even read a fair few books on the subject. But the second time around, we're prepared and know what's happening to us as it happens - even if it's one of many of pregnancy's not-so-pleasant side effects.
3. The novelty is gone
During a woman's first pregnancy, each milestone can feel like a huge achievement, but during the second, when she feels her baby kick for the first time, she's much less likely to make an excited Facebook post about it.
4. There's less fear
As any mom will tell you, one of the biggest challenges that a woman faces during her first pregnancy is a fear of the unknown - especially when it comes to giving birth. Pushing a human out from your vagina is no mean feat, and the pain it causes is well documented, but the second time around, women are a lot less anxious because they know what they're in for.
5. Women worry less about their diet
One of the side effects of first pregnancy nerves is moms-to-be becoming obsessed with their diet. Even if they're craving a certain food, if they think it will be bad for their baby, it often won't pass between their lips. The second time around, women are usually a lot more relaxed about what they're eating and listen to the logical side of their brain instead of the anxious one.
6. There's less stuff to buy
Having a baby is an exciting time, but it's also an expensive one too. When you're a first-time mom, the expenses can be overwhelming, but thankfully, babies only need certain items for a limited amount of time, so when your second child comes along, you don't have to break the bank preparing for them. Top tip: share clothes and baby items with other moms as well!
7. You'll waste less money
"You can get a baby what? OMG, I have to buy it?" Sound familiar. It's exactly how I felt during my first pregnancy, and unfortunately, it led to more than a few impulse purchases. Common sense took over the second time around and I decided against buying my son miniature versions of all my favorite band t-shirts that he'd only fit into for a few months!
8. A more realistic birth plan
After doing so much reading about pregnancy and taking every care to make sure that everything is perfect, first-time moms often have very set ideas about how they want their bundle of joy to come into the world. The second time around, however, they're a lot more realistic and realize that sometimes what's best for baby isn't quite what they had in mind.
9. You'll feel your baby kick earlier
While your second baby might not necessarily start kicking sooner than your first, because you've experienced the feeling before, it's likely that you'll notice it sooner. There are also some unpleasant side effects you'll experience sooner including hemorrhoids and varicose veins because your body has been stretched and put through its paces from your first pregnancy.
10. You'll notice Braxton Hicks contractions sooner
Just like with kicking, when second-time moms experience Braxton Hicks contractions, they know what's happening - their body is preparing for labor. But the first time around, many end up rushing to the hospital believing that it's actually started!
11. You won't need to have as many tests
First-time pregnancy and tests come hand in hand. After all, it's important to know if your unborn child is at risk of genetic conditions like cystic fibrosis. Thankfully, these tests only have to be carried out once as the risk does not change over time. General testing is pretty much the same too. But if there were any complications during your first pregnancy, you'll be monitored a little more closely to avoid the same thing happening again, which will give you a lot of piece of mind!
12. You won't be as well rested
Already a mom, you're not going to be able to rest as much during your second pregnancy as your first bundle of joy still needs your attention! Top tip: when your child is resting (like during an afternoon nap), use this as a chance to put your feet up too. When they're sleeping, you should be too.
13. You'll need to explain what's happening to your older child
The prospect of becoming a big brother or sister can be a lot for a child to take in, especially if they're barely or still in diapers themselves. That's why it's important to let them know exactly what's happening so there's no risk of them feeling threatened by the new arrival. Take time to explain the positive aspects of them having a sibling so that they look forward to the event.
14. Your family and friends will be less excited
When a woman's pregnant for the first time, her family and friends will be excited for her and use it as an opportunity to pass on any parenting tips or tricks that they have themselves. The second time around, while people will be happy for you, they're focus is more likely to be on your older child and how they will cope with the change of a new baby in the house.
15. You'll have a lower bump
During your second pregnancy, your bump will sit lower down because your uterine muscles have been slackened by your first. Statistically, second babies also tend to be bigger, and this will also pull your bump down.
16. You'll have a shorter labor
To put it bluntly, the road has already been cleared by your first child so you're more than likely to have a shorter labor!
17. Your morning sickness is going to be worse
As the old saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. And when it comes to the silver lining of a shorter labor, the cloud is arguably more acute morning sickness. Why? Because you'll already be tired from looking after your first child! That being said, if you didn't have morning sickness the first time around, there's a chance you could not experience it the second time either!
18. You'll be ambivalent about your due date
Due dates are just an estimate, but the during a woman's first pregnancy, she's likely to focus on the due date given by her OBGYN. But as only 55% of babies arrive on time, the second time around, she's likely to be less focused on it. Due dates can, after all, be affected by a woman's cycle and if yours is on the longer side, your baby is likely to arrive later.
19. You could panic about the birth
When it comes to worrying, a woman's second pregnancy is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, second-time moms worry less because they know what to expect and they worry more, especially about the birth, because they know what they're in for!
20. You'll be more knowledgeable about the delivery
But, at the end of the day, knowledge is still power and because second-time moms know more about the delivery procedure, if there's something that they'd like done differently the second time around, they can make it happen.
So there you have it - 20 things which happen during a second pregnancy that most certainly don't happen during a first. If you're a would-be second-time mom, or currently pregnant, how many came as a surprise? Let us know in the comments section!