By Mishal Ali Zafar
The first time you get pregnant, you and your body go through major, major, changes. Mentally and emotionally, you may feel anxious or nervous, and physically — well, that goes without saying. But once you have your baby, and all the emotional and physical stresses subside, you get to relax and enjoy your baby — then you get pregnant again. You feel like you know what to expect, but how is your second pregnancy different than your first?
Romper spoke with Mary O’Toole, OB-GYN, at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center, in Laguna Hills, California, who says that in your second pregnancy, you may feel a little more tired and may experience more nausea, which might be because you aren’t able to rest and pamper yourself as much. This makes sense considering one of the biggest changes in the equation of a second pregnancy is the fact that you’re taking care of your first child.
That all sounds like a drag, but there's good news — your body might have an easier time adjusting with a second pregnancy, too. With a second baby, adds O’Toole, you may note that you are showing more and much sooner because your uterus may begin to expand quicker than the first time around. “A woman may start to feel fetal movement sooner, because she has felt fetal movement before," she suggests.
You may also find your labor is easier the second time around. “The labor for a second baby may be easier and not as prolonged, meaning a shorter time frame with much easier pushing," explains O'Toole. Along with an easier delivery, she notes that your postpartum experience may also be easier because you feel more at ease. (Although, it's worth noting that the postpartum period could also be even more overwhelming with two children.) If you choose to breastfeed, many moms find that easier than the first time around, too.
During my second pregnancy, I found that the combination of experience, along with the constant activity of my toddler, kept my mind off any emotional or physical stresses. While every woman and every pregnancy is different, it’s good to know that with a second pregnancy, your body and mind are more prepared, which can make the experience a little easier.