You’re pregnant with your second child. Wow, that’s great news! Congratulations! Here’s another round of pregnancy preparations, symptoms and experiences. You may want to recall everything from your first pregnancy and try to do all that you have done, making your first pregnancy experience be your guide for this second time. Do you think that you have been there and done that? You may assume that you are familiar with all the symptoms, by the way, they are all the same. If you have the same thinking as other women do, you’re wrong.

Professionals and even mothers too can attest that each pregnancy differs from each other. You may experience pregnancy symptoms on the second time that you have never felt from your previous one. Avoid surprises and be prepared to discover the difference between the first and the second pregnancy.

The second pregnancy symptoms

The bump will show sooner. Since the uterus has not yet shrunk to its original size since the first one, it has the advantage of an early start. Stomach muscles and the ligaments are looser now and don’t hold firmly as before, so the bump will pop sooner. The uterus can be compared to a balloon that is easier to blow up now than before. Also, this will cause more body aches and pains during pregnancy.

The bump will appear lower. This is because of the prior stretching of the first pregnancy. On the other hand, it can cause backaches, hips and ligament pains. Worry not for it will resolve after birth.

You’ll feel the movement earlier. During the first pregnancy, you might have done some exercises and techniques to make the baby in the womb move. Since you are more familiar with the baby’s movement, this time you can recognize it more than that of the first. Fetal movement is expected om the fourth month while it takes to the fifth month for first-timers.

Tiredness is expected. In the first pregnancy, you are focusing on yourself and the baby in your womb. You might as well be treated as a princess, often recommended to rest, relax and pamper your self. This time, it’s different. You already have a small child that you need to care, chase and look after too. You can ask your health care provider for vitamins and supplements to boost your energy.

Morning sickness is a possibility. There are those women who have not experienced morning sickness in the first pregnancy. On your second, morning sickness is likely possible.

Braxton Hicks contractions are more common now.  As the body prepares for ‘true’ labor, ‘false’ labor pains may occur. And these are called Braxton Hicks contractions. During the second pregnancy, it is more usual than before.  To differentiate the two, a mother should change her position or walk around. Braxton Hicks contractions will stop but true labor pains will continue.

Shorter labor. Since the uterus and the cervix have gone through the process before, labor and pushing may be shorter for most second-timers. Based on observation, first-time mommies usually have nine hours of labor and an hour of pushing. Second timers spend almost only six hours in labor and half an hour pushing.  Since the cervix is less rigid now, dilation can happen quickly. Vaginal tissue is more elastic than before making it easier for the baby to come out.

Postpartum pains are worse than before. After giving birth to the second baby, the uterus has a lesser muscle tone and is bigger than after your first. It clamps down as quickly as possible to prevent bleeding. This will lead to stronger afterpains while the uterus is slowly shrinking back to its size. These pains will be more common to those who breastfeed since nursing releases oxytocin that may trigger contractions.

Common woes are less severe. This may include food aversion and breast enlargement. And since it is the second time, more second time mothers are more relaxed and less worried.

Breastfeeding is easier. Since you have gone through the newbie stage, you have the idea and the expertise on how breastfeeding is done. Changes in mammary glands also help for quicker delivery of milk this time around.

Coping up

The situation may be entirely different this time compared to your first pregnancy. You are unlikely to have the same amount of time to enjoy the second pregnancy since you already have a child to look after. Here are some tips to make it easier.

Ask friends or family to help you out. These are people whom you can trust to help you look after your child while you need some free time for your self.  If you are at home and your partner works during the day, you can leave your child to them and spend an hour for yourself. It is better to leave the house so you won’t end up tidying and doing household tasks. You can take a walk in the park, visit a friend, go to a spa or read a book.  If you are working, take a day or half-day off. Leave your kid to a trusted friend or family member and take the day off with your partner.

Always make it a point to take your needed prenatal vitamins and supplements. Keep it out of a child’s reach but put it in areas of sight so as not to forget it.

Online shopping can help you purchase items if you don’t have time going out. You can also ask a friend or a sibling, or your partner to do the grocery shopping. You might just need to prepare a list of what you need to buy.

Do some exercises if you can. Some moms still do their workout. You can do as simple as walking in the park with your kid or simple bending and stretching.

Have enough sleep as much as possible. Go to bed early or take naps during the day when the kid is also sleeping. It will boost energy levels and maintain healthy mental wellbeing.

Having a second pregnancy is a blessing. Your firstborn will truly be excited for a new playmate. Although its symptoms will be a little more different than the first, your experience can serve as a guide to help you through the second. Have a happy pregnancy. Good luck

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