After having been through pregnancy, labor, and delivery the first time, you might feel like a pro at the whole birthing thing. Which is why you might be really surprised to find that the second (or third or fourth) time around seems so different! Don’t worry…you’re not going crazy. Many moms report feeling at least a few of these differences, so you’re in good company.
1. You probably started showing sooner. Most women who’ve given birth before show a few weeks sooner the second time around. This is because the abdominal muscles that hold in your uterus were stretched with your last pregnancy, and they never fully go back to their pre-pregnancy shape. That’s good if you are excited to see your bump, but not so good if you don’t want the news out quite yet!
2. You might be more tired. You can attribute this one to the fact that you’re busy chasing around your first child—who really doesn’t care that mommy is pregnant and wants to rest—when during your last pregnancy you might have had more time to nap and focus on yourself. Also, you might be a few years older, which might make the fatigue stand out more.
3. Your baby started dancing around in there way earlier. Now that you’re a pro, you know that those first few flutters really are your baby and not just gas!
4. Aches, pains, contractions—they’re starting so early! Again, thanks to the reasons listed in #2 you might feel some of the more annoying symptoms of pregnancy a bit sooner. Try to let your toddler walk some more instead of being carried, or get creative with playing on the floor in comfortable positions so you aren’t so sore.
5. One word: guilt. Your first pregnancy you were super excited and had no doubt you were ready to do this. Now? You’ve got your family unit and worry that added another baby to the mix might upset your child, or take some focus away from them, or totally rock their world in a bad way. This is totally normal, and most moms experience these emotions. Talk to those who’ve been there and you will realize you’re not alone.
6. You might not be feeling as connected to this baby. You might have a hard time imagining that you can possibly love this baby as much as your child who is already here. But remember how you didn’t even understand parental love until your first baby was born? It’s kind of the same thing. Try not to worry so much about this and trust that you will bond with this baby—maybe differently—but that is expected and is perfectly OK.
7. The instinct to nest might not be as strong. With your first, you had the whole nursery planned and had registered before you hit the second trimester. Now you’ve barely even given it a passing thought—and you’re almost full term. Maybe you’ve realized babies don’t really need much, and maybe you’ve just been so busy being super mom to stop and decorate, but either way, it doesn’t matter. Your baby won’t care!
8. You just barely remember your prenatal appointments. Your days might be so filled with work, getting your little one to school, packing lunches, dealing with temper tantrums, that you might almost forget you are pregnant and that you have appointments to keep! Be sure to step back, take a breath, and give this pregnancy the focus it needs to stay on track and healthy.
9. Pictures? What pictures? You’ve got weekly belly photos from the moment you found out you were pregnant with your first pregnancy until you got in the car to go to the hospital, and now you think maybe you’ve taken two pictures? Or three? Either way, you’re busy and on the go and it’s just slipped your mind. Set some calendar reminders on your phone to snap some every few weeks—you will cherish these later on!
10. You’re less stressed. The fear of the unknown the first time around left you anxious and worried, but now you’ve got this. You know you can conquer labor and sleep deprivation and a diaper blowout like a champ. So don’t worry mom, you can do this whole newborn thing again.
Reviewed by Dr. Jen Lincoln, April 2020
- Pregnancies are usually different the second (or third, fourth) time around.
- You may be more tired and you may even start showing sooner.
- There’s a chance you won’t be documenting this one as much as the first, and you may just barely remember your appointments.