You’ve been through it all before but you might think you are totally prepared the second time around to tackle pregnancy head-on! But then you fall pregnant and suddenly things are different. And it’s largely down to that first bundle of joy who isn’t a little bundle anymore…
But whilst the pregnancy might be tough (and we haven’t even covered off those poor souls who suffer from severe morning sickness or other debilitating conditions during their pregnancies too – our hats go off to you mama) there’s something so wonderful and extra special about going through it all again. Knowing that your little one will be a big brother or sister and imagining what your babies will be like together and the sibling bond they will share.
Sure there’s fear about the whole newborn phase again, the sleepless nights and breastfeeding and that little thing called labour… But ultimately now that you’re a mum you know that you are actually a superhero who can do anything that is thrown your way and you’ve totally got this.
Whilst every pregnancy and labour is different, here are 17 things that you might think/feel/experience in second (and subsequent) pregnancies.
1. You’ve got this
You did this already, so the secret is out – you’re a superwoman! You know that you can handle birth, feeding, sleep deprivation and living with toddlers (which we know now can be positively brutal)
2. You thought you knew what tired was before
You thought you knew what tired felt like. HA! What a glorious naive little thing you were. Oh, ignorance really is bliss.
3. Sleep will elude you
If you’re lucky enough to have a kid that sleeps through the night that’s amazing: pass Go and collect $200*. Either way, if it’s not the kids waking you up, your bladder most certainly will.
*Yeah you don’t get $200 but you have a child who sleeps through the night so that’s your prize.
4. You will forget you are pregnant most of the time…
Sorry #2 but those daily/weekly bump snaps are few and far between this time because you are too busy chasing after other kids/distributing snacks… Last time it felt like you were counting down the days, but the blessing of the second time is that 9 months seems to go so much quicker!
5. You have much lower standards
Second-time around you know that babies actually need very little. This is handy because you don’t have a lot of time for baby shopping or prepping the nursery this time around. Hand-me downs are good for the environment, the wallet and your sanity!
6. Your worries will be different this time
Sure some worries will be the same however, you’ve possibly got a few new ones this time around. Like, wondering how your firstborn will take having a new baby in the house? How you will juggle two and how you could ever love another like you love your first. Spoiler: you can and you will and your eldest will adapt (although we can’t guarantee it will be easy at least for a little bit – sorry!)
7. You will become an unwilling human amusement park
Your toddler shows a sudden interest in UFC and you find yourself saying the phrase “please don’t head butt/kick/knee/bodyslam your little brother or sister” much sooner than you thought you would have to.
8. Your child might become super needy…
When you fall pregnant your child often seems to acquire a sixth sense ability to know exactly when you are at your weakest, most tired, most vulnerable point to suddenly need to be held/carried/entertained/rocked/fed…
9. …OR they don’t want you at all
They might not know what’s going on but they know something is going on and they’re not sure about it and might also suddenly not want you at all… Don’t take it personally but do use the moments they only want daddy to nap/rest.
10. Pregnancy symptoms (and bump) come on hard and fast
Think back pain (clingy toddler who suddenly needs to be carried everywhere), sore boobs, needing to pee every 6.7 seconds, uncomfortable sleep, tiredness, so much tiredness… you get the idea. And that bump seems to appear almost from day 1…
11. Emotionally it can really take its toll
First time the fear of the unknown can be daunting, you think the second will be easier now that you know what you’re getting into… But the second time around can take you by surprise and you may find yourself *very* emotional.
12. You’ll probably feel the baby kick sooner
The second time around you know what the kicks feel like and what to look out for, so little flutters and movements you may have missed last time, you’re more likely to pick up on now.
13. Braxton Hicks are more intense
Much like the kicks, this is due to the muscles having stretched and loosened from last pregnancy, and also you know what to expect and what they feel like.
14. Back pain is more common in second (and subsequent) pregnancies
Many women report more back pain, and earlier on, compared with their first pregnancy. This is likely due to a combination of carrying your first child, (especially if they’re still little) as well as weakened abdominal muscles from your previous pregnancy.
15. Labour and birth can often be quicker
Not necessarily the case for everyone, but on average second (and subsequent) labours tend to get shorter, the uterus and cervix have done it before and they have stretched making it “easier” to go through it again. So that’s a plus!
16. The after pains get stronger
Whilst it’s good news about the labour often being shorter, unfortunately, it’s not such good news for the after pains – in second (and subsequent) pregnancies these tend to be more intense and can sometimes last longer than they did the first time around.
17. Remember every pregnancy is different
Things might not go the same as last time – and that’s ok. Don’t be surprised or discouraged if this pregnancy or birth is very different from your first. We know it’s hard, especially if you had a traumatic experience, but do your best to focus on this baby and this experience.