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15 Ways The First Pregnancy Is Different Than The Last (And 5 Ways It's Totally The Same)

First pregnancies and last pregnancies; they are so different and yet so the same. The first pregnancy becomes about finally reaching that glorious peak of femininity, blossoming into the a new echelon of womanhood for some. For others it can be something they might be trying to keep on the down-low until it’s a big show, and then it comes out and life inevitably adjusts. First pregnancies are big, really big: they are a monumental, life-shifting, gear-changing, irrevocable step down a well-worn but rugged path that isn't for the faint of heart.

Last pregnancies, on the other hand, are a whole other thing; whether mom is having her second or her fifth baby, she is handling things like a pro biologically, but the celebratory rite of passage has passed and being pregnant again is just part of family life. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own advantages though. Being educated about pregnant life means she knows all about when to leap and when to duck, it also means she knows when to nap and where to get the best maternity leggings - ones that don't fall down! So, whether a woman is thinking about getting pregnant, newly pregnant, thinking about expanding that brood or on the last baby, looking back with a heart full of love at all of her births; every mother is in here, all brought together by the same experience, 'life longing for itself.'

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20 The Bump Is So Different

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First-time moms often take weekly or bi-weekly photos of their pregnancy progress with cutsie motifs like blackboard signage numbers beside their bellies or numbers on their belly, then post them on social media. Some even turn it into a digital media mini movie project and post it for the world to see on Youtube or social media. By the time you’re on your last baby, your belly pops so early that you’re looking six months pregnant when you are only two months in. So out comes the black, loose clothes to minimize as it can just be awkward for a spell.

19 Photo Shoots Become Way Less Important

Some first-time moms also go for professional pregnancy photography shoots with beautiful designs stencilled or hennaed onto their bellies, or beautiful shots in the wind, blowing the dress so that the silhouette of the belly is highlighted. There is a certain empowerment to these photos. This is not something that happens with subsequent pregnancies, as the glamour is gone. Instead, it has been replaced by a comfortable feeling of, “Okay, this is part of family life and it’s not scary like the first one.” You know what’s happening and you let your other little ones feel the baby kick.

18 First-Time Moms Invest more in Maternity clothes 

First-time moms really invest into their maternity wardrobe, looking for trendy styles that will really accentuate the belly and their every other beautiful curve as they celebrate themselves during this special time. During your last pregnancy you are either still wearing those clothes if they fit, as sometimes your body has really changed since your last pregnancy, or you are happy to accept bags of second hand maternity clothes from friends because you know how briefly you will need them before it’s on to on to awkward recovery/spit-up season.

17 First-Time Moms get Beautiful Baby Showers

First-time moms get beautiful baby showers with professional cakes and soft pink or blue decorations and endless gifts that leave them wanting for so very little before the baby comes, at that, they are given money to buy whatever else they need. Moms on their last babies are happy to take whatever hand-me-downs come, often left mysteriously on their porch without a note, and also usually have an avalanche of baby stuff from the last kid. If not, the new community of parents that they have met at the park/school/daycare put together bags of stuff and that stuff keep circulating.

16 First-Time Moms go for First Class Treatments and Babymoons

First-time moms are all about getting the pregnancy massage, going to pre-natal yoga or a special pre-natal spa retreat. They do this because they’re celebrating a very special transition in life from wife or girlfriend or just gal to mom, because once you reach “mom” status, nothing is ever really going to be about you ever again. But when the baby comes and you’re settled into your new life as a mother, the majority of women are okay with that. It’s ingrained in your DNA that your babies should come first and their happiness is yours.

15 Knowing the Difference Between Normal Pregnancy Pain and When to head to the Emergency Room

First-time moms absolutely panic at any sign of pain and even go to the emergency room. Moms on their last pregnancy have already had these experiences so they know the difference between an emergency and Braxton Hicks or round ligament pain. While no pain is pleasant, with a last pregnancy, moms know that pain, accompanied by a little kick, is really just “their tenant” making itself more comfortable. Sometimes that means pressure on the pelvis, making it permanently wider, and aches and pains are part of the process - no big whoop!

14 Understanding the Reality of Eating During Pregnancy

First-time moms can be all like “bring on the calories, I’m eating for two!” On your last pregnancy it’s like “oh no.” Working that weight off with a baby was difficult. Yes, mom is eating for two, but that second person is tiny so it only needs a few hundred more calories a day, and not in ice cream. A big first-time mom mistake can be overeating or just eating all of the wrong things. Diet and exercise are just as important while pregnant as while not. If you are unsure what to eat, you can always follow Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide

13 Getting Fancy Prenatal Vitamins VS Going Old School

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First-time moms are all about finding the most expensive, all organic, most potent prenatal vitamins on the market. The amount of money that can be spent on vitamins during pregnancy is astonishing and some women really go all out! Last-baby moms are like, “woo hoo! My sister gave me some leftover Materna! Let’s hope I remember to take it today.” The reality is that some studies have argued that, provided that the expectant mother gets the sufficient amount of folic acid and vitamin D, prenatal vitamins may not even be necessary and the focus should shift to better nutrition instead.

12 First-Time Moms Go For All The Latest Baby Gear, Experienced Moms Know What's Useful

First-time moms are all about the trendy new baby tech and all of the new “must haves” being marketed to them in the media. Mothers on their last pregnancy know the difference between essential, excess and the landfill-destined without a second glance. The “wipe warmer,” those weird cones that are meant to keep boys from going #1 on you, baby timers that keep track of when you fed and changed and napped baby in an era of smart phones? There are a lot of things moms need to know how to do in the heat of the moment to understand and that understanding comes about fast after the birth. Each mom is different, though, so preferences differs.

11 Hard-to-Maintain Choices in Nursery Decor

First-time mommies will go all out decorating the sweet little baby's nursery with lots of white with pink or blue accents. Some just go all out monochromatic white. What is the obsession with having babies dressed up in white anyway? While these beautiful little creatures are heavenly and innocent, their messes stain white like nothing else! Having lived through enough diaper blowouts with their first and possibly other children, the last baby gets a perfectly snuggly corner of the world for themselves, possibly in their parent's room or their bed while still nursing, in bedding that washes very well.

10 Sleeping Arrangements May Not Go According to Original Plan

First-time moms often keep baby in the bed and even co-sleep for a few years if they're breastfeeding because it’s just easier. Last-time moms often keep the co-sleeping more minimal because it can then be hard to move an older little one out of the family bed. Co-sleeping is a very individual thing for each family. Some families have a family bed, others are nervous with newborns or want to keep the co-sleeping restricted to the breastfeeding period so that baby gets used to sleeping on their own seamlessly and it isn’t a difficult transition once they can walk into your bed.

9 First-Time Moms Make A Birthing Plan and are Adamant about Enforcing it!

First-time moms go over their birthing plan with their health professional or doula and really stress what is most important to them. Last-time moms know generally what is going to happen and how little in charge they actually are because the new “boss” is about to arrive and they arrive on their own terms. Natural or C-section, it’s all about the baby’s health. While a natural birth is still possible the first time after a C-section, if it didn’t work out the first time, or if the baby is stressed, everything stops and it’s off to the OR.

8 First-Time Moms Can't Believe what labor Actually Feels Like

First-time moms, whether they are being induced or hit the peak of natural labor, can’t believe the lightening volt running through their body that is a major contraction. Sure, just like on TV, lots of women say they want to go natural and then change their mind at the last minute and there is a very good reason for that. Whether you have worked your way up there or been induced, full blown contractions are devastatingly painful. Last-time moms have their epidural time planned, don’t do natural child birth or have an appointment for a scheduled C-section.

7 A First-time Mom Panics if she Doesn't Hear Crying Right Away

For a first-time mother, when that baby is actually out, if they don’t hear it crying, the world is an anxiety-filled terror. A first-time mother that hears nothing will frantically rip off her own oxygen and ask "is the baby ok?" Last-time moms actually know that not all babies cry on the way out. If you don’t hear frantic medical staff you should know that all is good and that in a moment you will meet your baby. So don't worry, and enjoy those last few moments before hearing the baby cry: those moments will be few and far between from now on.

6 The First time, Moms can be more lax about finding daycare

First-time moms think, “daycare, shmaycare, that is so far off, I can take my time looking into that on maternity leave. Right now I need a nap.” Moms on their last kids are calling up daycares the day they got a plus sign on the stick test looking for an affordable spot. Depending on where you live and who you know who can take care of kids, getting that daycare situation figured out as soon as you hit 12 weeks is really something that needs to happen and experienced moms will get on this right away because they have other mouths to feed.

5 The Same: The First 12 Weeks are Always Anxiety-Riddled

Both a first-time mom and a last-time mom will feel the same anxiety up until that 12-week mark when they see that ultrasound to know if the baby is okay and healthy. The first 12 weeks are harsh no matter what because sure, you have tested positive and have taken more than one test (like five). But it’s hearing that heart actually beat, seeing it on the screen, hearing the doctor tell you that it looks viable and okay and being reassured that things will be fine that alleviates the actual stress because 25% of the time, things don’t work out.

4 The Same: Pregnancy Messes with your Sense of Smell and Taste

Both a first- and last-time mom will have foods and smells that they can’t stand while pregnant and other foods that they can’t get enough of. Whether it’s eating can after can of heart of palm and wanting to throw up every time they smell chili, pregnancy hormones wreak havoc on your senses. Taste and smell just get wacky. Some women can’t eat enough watermelon; some won’t eat chicken for nine whole months. It’s just pregnancy; everything in that respect becomes weird. Hopefully, by her last pregnancy, mom knows what she craves and can stock up on it ahead of time.

3 The Same: always amazed by How Much Time they Spend Going To the Washroom

It's all about that extra pressure on your bladder. It’s weird, it’s awful, it’s annoying and it makes you selective about where you are going because you end up spending so much time in the washroom. You plan outings around it. You stake out every place you go to, to find the washroom first. Even at nighttime, you might get out of bed to go at least two to four times per night towards the end. It’s one of the greatest feelings after the baby is born, just to no feel that pressure constantly. Staying out of the bathroom never felt so good.

2 The Same: Discovering you are Pregnant is Thrilling!

Whether it’s your first or last pregnancy, discovering you’re pregnant always comes as a surprise, even if you were planning it. Getting pregnant is a weird thing because while you’re in your twenties, it can happen very easily, unless there are mitigating medical issues, but not always on a dime. But, if you’re in a relationship for a long time and you’ve decided to just do away with birth control and see what happens, or are older and thought you didn’t need birth control, or if you used birth control and it obviously didn’t work, it is a big deal!

1 The Same: The Bond Is Magical

No matter what number baby you’re having, that moment when that baby is handed over to you is one of the best moments of your life and you fall so deeply in love with that tiny creature that it’s as though your heart just tripled in size like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. It is magic and Godly and full of fairy dust because it is the miracle of life. Every baby is special and incredible and is love at first sight because they’re your baby, whether you have given birth or adopted or had a surrogate. Babies are love.

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