Will my second pregnancy be easier?

Toddler and bump

For most mums, being pregnant a second or subsequent time can be easier than the first. Having experienced it before, you’ll be more equipped to know how to look after yourself. In fact, that’s the reason some mums are offered fewer midwife appointments than during their first pregnancy.

Although being pregnant is fundamentally the same whether it’s your first or fifth, your subsequent pregnancy can still bring a few new surprises both physically and emotionally – especially when you already have another little one to look after.

What will be the same?

If you’ve experienced pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, pelvic pain (SPD), pre-eclampsia, or even little niggles like a leaky bladder, haemorrhoids or varicose veins, it’s likely that you’ll experience them again this time. The good news is you’ll be quicker to spot the symptoms and know how to ease them. Your midwife will also know to be on the look out for any signs of previous complications.

Hot water bottle

What will be different?

  • Your bump may show earlier than last time.
  • You may feel more tired, as you have another child or children to look after
  • Because you’re more able to recognise the sensation of your baby kicking and turning, you may feel your baby moving around a lot earlier on.
  • You’re also more likely to experience Braxton Hicks contractions in the 3rd trimester of your second pregnancy.

Pregnancy puts a lot of strain on your pelvis and lower back, and you might also find that your pelvic joints hurt more than before. Compression tights may help, as could wearing a pelvic girdle support to help take some of the weight. Paying attention to your posture can also ease the strain. Try not to stand for long periods but when you do, remember to stand up straight so that your ear, shoulder and hip are in a line, with your pelvis tucked underneath. If you’re washing up, lifting one leg and resting it on a stool or box can reduce the strain on your lower back.

Make time for ‘me-time’

In your first pregnancy, you could put the kettle on and put your feet up if you felt tired. But with another child in the house, grabbing some ‘me-time’ can seem impossible. Although it might seem twice as difficult, it’s just as important to find time to rest during your second or subsequent pregnancy. You could try having naps at the same time as your child, or just settle down to some quiet time with them, by reading a book together. Call on your family and friends to do a spot of babysitting too – or even helping with the housework!

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