Many moms say that the first and second pregnancies are very different experiences. During the first pregnancy, the excitement and wonder are huge, Mom's body has managed to do what it was designed for, hoorah! The second time around while the wonder is still enormous, she feels a bit more like an old hand and has nine whole months of experience to look back on.
Perhaps the biggest difference with a second pregnancy is that her focus might not primarily be on the baby growing inside her and keeping up with her Kegel exercises. It is more likely to be on her elder child, according to Today's Parent. They don’t have the same understanding that she does about the impending arrival and still want their toast and TV program as usual.
They may have a nursery or daycare to attend and if mommy normally takes them, then could mommy please get on with it and take them! It can be very hard to deal with tiredness and morning sickness with another child in tow, but the upside is that symptoms and appointments aren’t such a big deal. Hopefully, she has also built up a bit of a support network of other parents around her, and they may be going through similar experiences, so there is a forum for her to share her concerns and possibly a few helping hands to entertain the older child when she isn't feeling a hundred percent.
20 Bump Gets Bigger More Quickly
Unfortunately, the first pregnancy weakens the abdominal muscles and if they do not have a chance to get back to where they were (if they ever do) then your bump will show much sooner than the first time around.
The baby won’t necessarily be any bigger, but you will find that you show much sooner, and your bump may end up being bigger than with the first pregnancy. It might be uncomfortable, so get those maternity clothes out and give in to the expanding waistband! Your uterus has also been stretched once before and is a bit like a balloon that is easy to blow up according to What to Expect.
19 You Have More Knowledge
During a first pregnancy, a mom-to-be has time and the inclination to find out everything she can about what is happening to her body. Many books are devoured, we sit in prenatal classes like sponges and we notice each stage with great interest.
Today's Mom points, The second time around, a lot of this knowledge is already stored and developments with the pregnancy don’t come as such a surprise. This gives us a little more confidence that the body is doing exactly what it should be doing and all we have to do is sit back, relax, stay healthy and wait.
18 The Novelty of Each Stage is Not so Strong
During the first pregnancy, many moms keep a diary of developments, take classes at every opportunity and take pictures of their bumps on a weekly basis. During the second pregnancy, that pregnancy journal may remain unopened, and even sonogram pictures may be left at the bottom of a purse next to the packets of raisins and toddler scribblings.
Moms report missing appointments during the second pregnancy, mostly because they were busy with the first child. As Nine in the Mirror reveals, some moms even struggle to remember how many weeks pregnant they are the second time, whereas with the first baby they could recite the number of days!
17 Less Worry of the Unknown
There may be less worry in general about the second pregnancy because it’s all been done before. Unless there are fresh complications with this pregnancy, you should breeze through it without the inherent panics and concerns about the baby that accompanied the first, says Everydayfamily.
Worries the second time around might center more on the present child. How will he/she cope? Will I have enough love for a second baby? These are all normal reactions and it may take time to work through them. Remember that a mother cannot run out of love and that your second baby will be unique and special, just like your first one was, but in different ways.
16 More Relaxed About Food
During the first pregnancy, many women read books and articles about what they should and shouldn’t be eating and follow their intake rigiously. During the second pregnancy, moms tend to be more relaxed and eat sensibly and in moderation. Moms reveal their obsessions during the first pregnancy stretching to writing on the calendar when they ate tinned tuna to avoid going over the suggested weekly amount, according to Scary Mommy.
Obviously, it is important not to put the baby at risk, but second-time moms tend to be more relaxed and less obsessive about foodstuffs and possibly indulge in a couple of things they wouldn’t touch during the first pregnancy.
15 Less Stuff to Buy
Hopefully, you will still have plenty of clothes and toys from your first baby. If there is enough of a gap, you should still be able to use the crib, stroller and other baby equipment that you bought the first time around. Obviously, there will still be diapers and wipes, but you will have a better idea of what you really need and what is not necessary says Diydecormom.
Of course, nature could throw you a curveball and give you a different gender, so some color schemes might have to be adapted, but the generic items you already have will still be perfectly fine for baby number two.
14 Fewer Impulse Purchases on Irrelevant Items
With the first baby, we often go a little mad with the purchases, convinced that the wipe warmer, the crib bumper set and the miniature newborn Levi jeans are vital. However, with the second, we have seen what works and what doesn’t, and second time moms are less likely to overspend on useless items.
Couples spend lesser money when they are second time pregnant, points Mail Online. This is because of the fact that there is possibly less money around as a result of having an expensive baby or toddler to look after, and we are usually more sensible with our money when it comes to the second baby.
13 More Realistic About the Birth Plan
First-time moms can be a little idealistic about how the birth will be and feel that they may have a little more control over events than they actually do. Many of us make wonderful birth plans, including birthing pools, ambient music, and gentle massage.
The medically guided, intervention-led birth we actually had is a far cry from that initial dream, but if the outcome was a healthy mom and baby, that may now seem irrelevant. If a second-time mom makes a birth plan it may well look a bit more like ‘keep mom and baby safe!’, says Sweetmiles. Second-time moms are more likely to worry about what will happen to the older child when mommy and daddy are at the hospital.
12 Feeling Kicks Earlier
Although you may not necessarily experience the baby kicking earlier with the second baby, you will be familiar with the sensation that you feel when the baby moves, so may notice it earlier.
Unfortunately, some of the other symptoms you might feel sooner are hemorrhoids and varicose veins, reminds Women’s Health, and they might come back more severely because the areas in question are slacker from being stretched last time.
You may also have thought that the early movements or ‘quickenings’ were wind or stomach rumblings the first time, whereas this time you have more experience and should be able to recognize that magical feeling earlier.
11 Noticing Braxton Hicks Contractions Sooner
Similar to kicking, you will be familiar with the sensation of Braxton Hicks contractions, so will know what they are when they happen during the second pregnancy. Second-time moms are less likely to run to the hospital when they experience these practice contractions, as they know that they are just the body’s way of preparing for labor.
10 Less Testing
Testing during pregnancy depends on the individual mother of course and the risks she faces for certain conditions. However, if you have had tests for genetic conditions such as sickle cell or cystic fibrosis, you will not need to be tested again as the risk will be the same.
General testing that is carried out routinely will be pretty much the same, although if you had any complications last time you will be monitored for these conditions more closely. If you are an older mother, you may be tested more vigorously for Down’s Syndrome, as the likelihood of having a child with Down’s increases for older mothers, published The Atlantic.
9 Less Rest as You Have a Child to Look After
If you were lucky enough to get home from work and just flop on the sofa during your first pregnancy, it will be a different story this time. Having a child already means that you are on the go a lot more than the first time and you can’t schedule your rest time when you want it says BabyCenter.
If your child is still having a daytime nap, it is a good idea to rest when they rest, and try and get an early night rather than stay up and get things done. If you can get a friend or family member involved, ask them to take the older child out for a walk or a treat while you rest. You will be tired, so try and rest as much as you can.
8 Explaining to the Older Child What’s Happening
There’s not just the mom and partner to take into account when the second child is on the way. There is the older sibling to add to the equation. The older child may be delighted at the prospect of a new baby or may feel threatened by the prospective arrival, says Kidshealth.
However, they need to be prepared for the arrival and including them in appointments and plans can make them feel less unsure about the future. By explaining the positive aspects of a new sibling and by ensuring that they know that they will never be any less loved than they are at present, they may look forward to the event rather than dread it.
7 Less Excitement From Family and Friends
A first baby causes a major level of excitement around the happy couple. Parents and friends are delighted and often very keen to impart their knowledge of childbirth and child-rearing. When the second pregnancy is announced, people around you will be pleased, of course, but the focus may be more on the older child, and how they will cope.
This might also be reflected in your own lack of over-enthusiasm says PopSugar. While every parent is delighted about the prospect of a second baby, time to dwell on this will be taken up by another little delight running around the home already!
6 Lower Bump
According to Parents, the baby bump tends to sit lower during the second pregnancy because of the slackening of the uterine muscles that won’t hold the baby up quite so high. Second babies do tend to be bigger statistically, so this will pull the uterus downwards as well.
This can cause more back pain and general aches and pains. You are likely to ‘show’ the second time around a month or so earlier than the first time according to Cure Joy, as there isn’t a strong band of muscle to hold the uterus in place. If the uterus hasn’t shrunk back to its pre-pregnancy size, there is more uterus to show!
5 Short Labor
The good news about second babies is that statistically, labor is shorter. This is because the body has done it all before and the cervix is less rigid and will dilate and efface more quickly, says Babycentre. The second stage of labor is on average half as long the second time around, but of course, this is only an average, not a prediction!
The pushing stage of labor should be shorter the second time around too. As the cervix is less rigid than it was, it will allow the baby’s head to pass out much more easily. This might mean a very quick arrival for baby number two.
4 Feel Morning Sickness More Strongly
If you are having morning sickness with your second pregnancy, you are likely to feel ill sooner, as you will be so tired as a result of having a child already.
The good news is that morning sickness isn’t necessarily going to happen just because you had it the first time, although it is more likely if you have had it previously, says Madeformums. Also, some symptoms seem to be felt less severely. The body has done this once, so it is less of a surprise the system. One symptom that is going to be felt more severely whatever your experience first time, is tiredness.
3 Ambivalence About Due Date
During a first pregnancy, moms can focus on the due date that is suggested by the OBGYN and have some confidence that the baby will arrive then. In fact, according to Parents, only around 55 percent of babies arrive on their due dates, so it isn’t a date that needs to be focused on too closely.
By the time the second baby is on its way, you will have more knowledge about due dates and you are less likely to expect the baby to arrive on that day. A due date can be affected by a woman’s cycle, if your cycle is long, the baby is more likely to be late. Therefore, if your cycle is long and your first baby is late, there is a good chance the second one will be too.
2 Panic About Birth
Of course, this is a double-edged sword. Moms may worry a little less because they know what to expect, and a little more, because you know what to expect! There will be less worry about the procedures and less worry of what to expect, but of course, if you have had a difficult delivery, worry might be greater.
It is worth remembering that every labor is different and that if you had a bad time with the first baby, it doesn’t mean you will with the second. According to Parents, if you are a first time mom, it's not necessary that you will have a C-section and if you had a C-section the first time, it doesn’t mean you will have one with the second.
1 Lack of Knowledge About Delivery
They say knowledge is power, and many women feel empowered going into the second delivery because they have less uncertainty of the unknown. You will know more about the procedure of delivery and what to expect and what you would like to change the second time around.
You may have some specific requirements based on what happened the first time around because you have the experience to compare. LiveScience says that, While each delivery is very different, there is some comfort in having an idea about what to expect and to know that if you got through it once, you can do it again, and come back for more!
Sources: Babycenter, Scarymommy, Womenshealthmag, Verywellfamily, Whattoexpect