Second and Subsequent Pregnancies

Pregnant again? Congratulations! Adding to your family is a true joy—although this pregnancy may be very different than your first go-around. Here’s how:

• An earlier baby bump  Often, 2nd-time moms “show” their pregnancies in their bodies earlier. The body’s uterus, muscles and ligaments have already stretched a bit, so they know what to do—essentially, you have a head start on that baby belly.

• Symptoms change—or don’t  Overall, your 2nd and subsequent pregnancies may be quite similar to your previous experiences or wildly different (in terms of morning sickness, aches and pains, other health conditions, sensations, pre-labor contractions and more.

• Labor can differ  Some people have faster labors (especially after a previous vaginal birth), while others find that a second or subsequent baby’s different size, position or gestation makes the general feeling of labor markedly different.

Your Expectations

One way that a 2nd, 3rd, 4th or even 5th pregnancy can be challenging is in your expectations. Maybe you’re more tired this time around (you have more people to take care of, after all!) or have developed aches and pains or other symptoms that you didn’t anticipate.

Your experience of sleep, fetal movement, weight gain and a host of other variables may not match your previous experience—or what you expected. That’s OK! 

Let yourself be open to the experience of this pregnancy and what it’s like to grow this new little person. It’s OK to feel negative feelings, as well—it doesn’t mean you won’t love your baby when he or she arrives!

Take Care of YOU!

With life, work and the demands of parenting older children, you may find it difficult to have enough time to prepare for labor, birth and the newborn period.

Whenever possible, make some time for self-care:

  • Stay hydrated. 
  • Eat  nutritious meals.
  • Take a long walk or even get a massage.

These all go a long way toward keeping you a happy and healthy parent for all of your babies.

See also ...

Special conditions in second pregnancies 

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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