If you are pregnant with your second baby, you likely feel ready for the challenges of pregnancy and birth. You’ve been through it all once, so you know what to expect. Each pregnancy is unique and there are some challenges that are unique to second, or subsequent pregnancies.
Most mothers of more than one child will tell you that it is normal to feel even more tired during a second pregnancy. You are now a mother, unlike the first time around. If you stay home with a toddler or preschooler, you won’t have the luxury of resting and putting your feet up whenever you feel tired.
You may find that you get less sleep in general than you did when you were expecting your first baby. This is normal, but you need to make an effort to get the rest that you, and this baby, need. Whenever possible, take a nap with your little one. If your child doesn’t nap anymore, try a little rest while telling stories or reading books. Try going to bed a little earlier to get enough sleep.
Second time mothers often feel the baby move a bit sooner than first time mommies. You may find that you feel this little one several weeks sooner than you did last time. This is due to the fact that you have been pregnant and are more sensitive to the sensation of your baby moving.
Later in pregnancy, Braxton Hicks contractions may be stronger than the first time around. As you get close to the due date, they can be nearly as strong as regular contractions. Drinking water, changing positions or just getting off your feet for a while will make it stop.
The cramping after the baby is born is likely to be stronger as well. This pain is the uterus shrinking to its original size. The pain may be more intense the second time around. If you are in severe pain, tell the nurse, your doctor or midwife.
Doctors will often tell you that your labor will be shorter the second time around. This is not always the case. It certainly never worked with my babies, but maybe you will get lucky. Even if the labor turns out to not be shorter, at least you know what to expect and know which coping strategies work best for you.