Calling all moms! If discussions about a second child are in the works, then there are some things to know before entering the fertility ring again. Bringing a second baby into the world is an amazing experience simply because moms remember all the joy that the first one brought to their life. Once the initial smelly diaper and crying at all hours of the night phase is over, it's a dream come true for parents to have a tiny human they've created together. The second would be another incredible experience, right?
We're in awe of moms with large families because the devotion, patience, and heart it takes to do so are simply tremendous. However, there are definitely some things to know before going for baby number two. Not every mom will be fully equipped and ready to go into motherhood a second time, and it's through no fault of her own — sometimes, our reproductive systems just tend to work on their own to decide when the time is right.
So before expanding the family, we've sought out all the things moms should be asking their OB before trying for another child. As always, from BabyGaga to all of our mom readers, we wish the best on this amazing motherhood journey no matter how big or small someone's family is!
20 'Does Anyone Over 30 Need To Worry About Secondary Infertility?'
Secondary infertility is an issue that's concerning to many moms who try for a second baby with no avail. It's a condition that can be brought on by the simplest of things, including internal changes, damage from the first childbirth, and even genetics. While it's not something to worry about, it is something to discuss with your doctor if you and your partner find that becoming pregnant has become a challenge. There is good news, too: It's not the end of the world if this is the issue! There are fertility treatments and lifestyle change options that can help increase the chances of getting pregnant a second time.
19 'Why Could Breastfeeding Be So Challenging The Second Time Around?'
Just as with the idea that no two pregnancies are the same, as a mom, you'll have to accept that not all post-pregnancy routines will be the same. While you may have breastfed your first child, this might not necessarily be the case with the second and vice-versa. While you can get help from a lactation specialist, it may just be the case that breastfeeding won't be a solid option the second time around. If there were problems with the first then there might be problems with the second and it's best to go into it with a clear mind and no expectations, according to Parents.com.
18 'Will Both Pregnancies Be Exactly The Same?'
Absolutely not! Just because one pregnancy went a certain way is in no way an indication for the second. For all you know, the second pregnancy could be much smoother, be on the nail as far as your due date, and result in much quicker labor than the first... or, it could be the opposite. Regardless, past performance is no indication of future performance, lest we fall into a 'sucker's maxim' type of situation. The fact is that nothing can be gauged based on what you know about your first pregnancy and it's likely that this one could be very similar or much, much different.
17 'How Do You Explain Morning Sickness And Fatigue To Baby #1?'
If you're a mom who is prone to morning sickness then there is a chance it could happen again... or not. But if it does, it can be challenging to explain to your first child as to why mommy is sick often without actually being ill. It can also be a bit frightening for them to see their mom in such a vulnerable state without understanding that it's a normal part of pregnancy. That's also the best route to take with it — if they're old enough to understand, it's best to explain the truth in such a way that it's easy to process. Telling them it's normal and just a natural part of pregnancy is the first step in reassuring them.
16 'Why Do Baby Bumps Appear Much Earlier In A Second Pregnancy?'
The explanation for this is simple and makes a lot of sense when you think about it. The reason so many women notice that they've started showing much more in the first trimester is that the muscles that were previously stretched are now stretching again. It's the reason so many women kickstart themselves back to the gym once they're feeling up to it, but is also the reason why a second pregnancy takes less time to become obvious. It's not a bad thing; it simply means that your second baby is growing at a healthy rate and your muscles are responding as they should when it comes to making room once again.
15 'Will The Baby Kick Much Earlier Than The First?'
Yes! The exciting part about a second pregnancy is that there is a chance that your baby could make his or her presence known much earlier than the first, around 14 weeks, in fact. However, there's a twist to this logic. It's not that by your second baby, your reproductive system is suddenly a pro at creating human life. Rather, it's because you, as a mom, have already experienced one movement flutter before and now know what it feels like. This means that when the baby moves—even in a subtle way—you'll be able to notice it right away rather than questioning whether or not it was just gas.
14 'What Are The Chances It Will Be A Boy/Girl?'
Moms, you know the routine with this one! There's no way to definitively know whether or not you'll be having a boy or a girl unless you choose to test the gender of your baby. While things such as genetics can play a role, there's really no way to tell for sure what your baby will be. It certainly can't be assumed based on the first that you'll have another girl or boy or that it will be a case of the opposite. This is definitely a conversation to have with your doctor who will explain more in-depth the factors that go into gender but for the most part, it's just as much a mystery to them as it is to you.
13 'Does A Second Pregnancy Put You At Risk For A C-Section Birth?'
No. Unless your first pregnancy involved a C-section, there's nothing stating that your second pregnancy will definitely result in a C-section. In fact, unless there are known complications or you're at risk, there's little reason to think that you would need a C-section if you've already given birth naturally to a healthy baby. In some cases, moms can opt to electively have a C-section if they decided that natural birth is just not what they're comfortable with. If you did have a C-section the first time, then yes, it could very much be the case with your second child; however, risks can go up with each C-section that is performed.
12 'Will Being Pregnant Affect Picking Up Your First Child?'
The beautiful thing about pregnancy is that you can really go about your normal life for the most part, as you feel confident in doing so. This means that you shouldn't be too worried about picking up your first child if you're pregnant for a second time. While heavy lifting toward the end of nine months is something to stay away from, picking up your child shouldn't be an issue as long as you're careful about it. Your center of gravity will certainly be different this time around so that's something to be wary of but other than that, it poses no significant threat in a normal pregnancy.
11 'Having Done It Once Means It Will Hurt Less The Second Time, Right?'
Well, unfortunately, this is not true. There's no guarantee that second labor will be painless or even more minimal than the first. However, the good news is that the birth canal has already stretched once to accommodate one child. This means that for your second, it's likely that there will be minimal stretching and/or tearing if any at all! Muscle memory is a big deal and when it comes to giving birth, you can be assured that your birth canal is ready to do the work for baby number two. So if nothing else, labor could be quicker and shorter than your first go-around.
10 'How Do You Continue To Breastfeed Baby #1 While Pregnant With Baby #2?'
An interesting thing happens when a mom has two babies that are very close in age. If you're still breastfeeding your first child, there's nothing to worry about if you plan to breastfeed your second one, as well. While being pregnant a second time shouldn't do much in the way of affecting your milk supply, you might notice that your first baby is beginning to naturally wean themselves. You might notice a mild decrease in milk supply during but more so, it's the flavor profile of the milk that's changing. According to Parents.com, milk will likely become saltier while your placenta grows, leading to babies naturally weaning themselves off it.
9 'Are Bi-Weekly Doctor Visits Necessary Now That A First Pregnancy Has Been Successful?'
In short, yes. The longer version of this is a simple explanation: Just because you've been through pregnancy once does not mean that the second one will be the same. It's not a typical life event such as buying a house or adopting a pet, pregnancy will vary from baby to baby and will likely never be the same. The routine will be different as will the ways in which you care for yourself and a doctor will be able to explain exactly how to do that. Routine testing, as well as checkups, are all part of a healthy pregnancy as well as the key to a successful one.
8 'Finding Time For Healthy Food Is Tough, Does It Really Matter What Meal Plans Consist Of?'
Just because you've been through one pregnancy doesn't mean that a healthy meal plan isn't necessary. It's not a free pass to stop paying attention to the foods that both you (and your baby!) eat and, in fact, it can be even more important the second time around. When two pregnancies are very close together, it becomes especially important that you're getting all of the necessary nutrients and vitamins that both you and your growing baby need. It's totally fine to give in to cravings every now and then as long as they're balanced with a wholesome and well-rounded meal. Also, drink plenty of water!
7 'Will Heartburn Be Just As Prevalent With A Second Pregnancy?'
It could be, or it could not. My mom was fairly heartburn-free for her first pregnancy but was then hit with some scorching indigestion when she was pregnant with me (sorry, mom). Each pregnancy will vary from baby to baby and it's not always a telling fact if you had heartburn with your first child. It's rumored that the amount of a hair a child is born with is also indicative of this — but even that is never a foolproof way of determining indigestion. The best thing you can do is prepare for it accordingly and avoid spicy foods as well as anything you know for sure is conducive to a burning esophagus.
6 'How Can You Continue To Stay In Shape Throughout All The Physical Changes'
Believe it or not, you are allowed to exercise while pregnant. In fact, your doctor will likely recommend it. Light exercise is best and even something as simple as walking can do wonders to improve your overall mood and general well-being. Working off all the post-pregnancy additions might prove to be a tougher thing to do but with a simple workout routine, it's definitely possible for a mom to stay on top of her fitness. Nowadays, there are even special gym classes that cater to pregnancy. Anything from yoga to pilates is fair game and worth checking out if it's something you're concerned with.
5 'Does A Second Pregnancy Put You At Risk For Gestational Diabetes Or Anemia?'
It's possible but not certain. If these are two things that a mom struggled with the first time around then they're also two things that her doctor will absolutely be concerned with. Issues such as gestational diabetes and anemia are things that can be prevalent during pregnancy for those who are prone to them. This means that a second pregnancy will likely drag the issues up again but the good news is that this time, you can be preemptive about it. Your OB will know exactly how to handle it and will likely, as a preventative measure, take action against them before you even know either one is an issue.
4 'Is It Possible To Become Pregnant While Still Breastfeeding Baby #1?'
Yes! It's a very common misconception that a woman can't become pregnant while breastfeeding. While the chances are slightly decreased due to the boost in hormones that happen while a woman is breastfeeding, there is still a chance it can happen. This is why so many people are surprised to hear that a woman has two children who are very close in age. It's not a myth, it certainly is possible to become pregnant almost immediately after you've given birth. If this is something you're open to then it's a non-issue but if it is, birth control is something to consider until you and your partner are ready.
3 'How Long Should We Wait To Try For Another Child?'
This is something that can absolutely be discussed with an OB but, in reality? It's a personal decision. Some parents decide that having a baby immediately after their first is a wonderful idea while others feel quite the opposite. What it boils down to is how both you and your partner feel; are you ready to take on another child while one is still in his or her infancy? Is a large family something you both desire, with children so close in age? Financially, are the two of you prepared to do it all over again so soon? It's no one else's decision, as it's no one else's family but your own.
2 'Is A Natural Birth Possible The Second Time If The First Was With An Epidural?'
An epidural has no bearing on future pregnancy (barring any epidural-related risks which your doctor should discuss with you). It's a temporary numbing agent and, once again, something that is a personal decision. Unlike delivery methods—such as a C-section—an epidural is no indication of how a mom chooses to deliver her second child. However, if the initial labor pain was far too great the first time around, a natural pregnancy might not be something to consider. While it's true that an epidural can be used at a moment's notice, it's best to consider all factors as well as what will be the most comfortable for the woman giving birth to her baby.
1 'Home Birth Has Been Discussed, Is There Any Medical Reason To Have Baby #2 In A Hospital?'
As far as we can tell, there's no reason why a home birth can't be an option for a couple who has familiarized themselves with the routine. A doula, midwife, or at-home doctor and/or nurse will be necessary, of course, but this is another personal decision. Moms who have already had one baby in a hospital might find that they're more comfortable doing so that way but if the doctor has cleared her for an at-home birth, there's no reason not to do it. It all depends on how a couple chooses to bring their child into the world and whether or not they have the means to do so.