Take Two – The second Pregnancy

Reviewed on : 11 July 2016

Being pregnant for the second time feels quite different for most women from what they felt the first time. While everything begins to happen in the same way as before, there will be some distinguishable signs this time around. This is mostly because the body is a little different now since it has already been through a pregnancy earlier. Also the mother’s life has changed drastically with a kid at home seeking her constant attention and care. While most women appreciate the shorter labour, the after pains is a scary experience for many.

So, when expecting a second time, the list below of some of the common ways in which the pregnancy can be expected to change, will enable one to be better prepared.

Pregnancy tends to show sooner

For the reason that the uterus certainly did not shrink back to its original size after the previous pregnancy and is acquainted with the process, the pregnancy tends to become visible earlier. As the muscles and ligaments have been stretched before they also are not as firm and expedite the visible bump.

Baby’s movements are felt early

One will usually notice the baby’s movement a lot sooner than before as they are more aware in terms of their body the second time around. In the first pregnancy one usually would become aware of the baby kicking towards the fifth month. However most people will notice the same in the fourth month while carrying the second one. By the third month of pregnancy, one may feel some tiny bubble or butterfly wings like feeling against the uterus. In the first pregnancy, the mother may mistake the fluttering for intestinal gas, but this time she would know the feeling which is caused when the baby kicks or wiggles.

The baby will be placed lower

The weaker abdominal muscles after the first pregnancy leaves the muscles slack. As a consequence, the abdominal muscle fails to support the baby’s weight as properly as it did earlier, resulting in the foetus appearing to drop lower in the abdomen. The advantage of carrying the baby lower is that one will most probably have ease in breathing and will be comfortable with eating as compared to the first pregnancy. But there is a downside to it too. The urge to use the loo frequently will start at an early stage and one may experience increased discomfort in the pelvic area because of the extra pressure on the bladder.

One can keep this discomfort at bay and get some relief with the help of Kegel exercises that toughen pelvic muscles. Kegel exercise includes tightening and then releasing of the urinary opening and vaginal muscle, as if one is holding back urine. One can go for 10 sets of 10 Kegels every day, with each Kegel lasting for a count of ten.

One may feel the extra strain on the lower back as a result of carrying the baby lower. Consult a healthcare professional regarding the strengthening exercises for the abdomen which also help lessen back pain. Some things that one should keep in consideration in the day-to-day life during the second pregnancy are:

  • Staying away from lifting heavy items and arching the back
  • Keeping the lower back muscles relaxed by bending the knees when lowering or raising oneself
  • Lying on the side and keeping a pillow between the legs with one or both knees bent
  • Alleviating some strain from the lower spine by keeping the feet on a low support while sitting.

One tends to feel more tired:

It is pretty obvious that while one is pregnant the second time, one will also have another toddler or a pre-school kid running around. Therefore, in addition to the tiredness because of pregnancy, one will also have to take care of the first child. Due to the busier lives the second time around and the overall comfort with the idea of being pregnant, many women also forget to regularly take the recommended supplements, which also affects their energy levels.

Experience of more aches:

During the second pregnancy, the body quickly starts relaxing the joints, which leads to increased body aches during the second pregnancy as compared to the first. The hormone relaxin that basically proliferates during the initial 14 weeks of pregnancy and seems to be more active in second pregnancies. The pain in most cases resolves itself automatically just after the delivery and if needed, one can consult a doctor for appropriate supplements and medications.

The Braxton Hicks contractions are more:

When one starts to feel the tightening up of the uterus, the body is preparing itself for the delivery. Braxton Hicks are the irregular practice contractions that can be felt initially around mid-pregnancy and may increase in frequency and force as one proceeds in pregnancy. When one is pregnant for the first time, one would have felt the baby moving. But this time, since one has felt the effective, real contractions earlier, the body is well informed of the Braxton Hicks contractions and will convey the same.

A shorter labour:

It is a well-accepted medical fact that with the cervix and uterus having gone through this phase before, every stage of the labour, be it pushing or anything else, is shorter for the second-time moms. A study revealed that the first-time moms take an average of nine hours of active labour and almost an hour of pushing, whereas the second-timers take an average of six hours of active labour and only half an hour of pushing during delivery.

Stronger after pains:

Following the birth of the second baby, the uterus has lesser muscle tone as compared to the first time and tends to be more aggressive when it comes to clamping down as speedily as possible so that the chances of bleeding get reduced. This usually leads to stronger after pains. The postpartum contractions help bring the uterus back to the original size and can be easily felt while breastfeeding, as oxytocin, that can trigger the contractions, is released.

While it is good to be informed and be prepared, second-time-moms do not need to panic. One has been through this phase earlier and one will go through it again easily.

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