Differences between the first and second pregnancy
After having your first child, you may have many questions on how the next pregnancy might turn out. Will it be easier or more complicated than the first time? How will it affect your physical and mental state?
The main differences you may notice in your second pregnancy are the symptoms you experience. You may also feel that you know more from your first experience, but it may also feel a bit different.
Below are a few different things you may experience with your second pregnancy:
- The baby's kicking may start sooner than before. During your second pregnancy, you may notice your baby move in the womb earlier. This is simply because you already know how it felt. It may have taken you some time to notice the first time because you had no idea how it felt.
- The pregnancy may feel more tiring. Women who are in their second pregnancy tend to feel like their first was easier to carry.
- You may get more false labor pains (Braxton Hicks). These contractions usually happen to prepare you for actual labor. You may experience more of them during your second pregnancy than you did the first time.
- You may spend less time in labor (cervical dilation). The process of delivery takes longer during a first pregnancy. The first stage takes around eight hours, and the second stage takes about three. You may take about five hours in the first stage during your second pregnancy and below two hours in the second stage.
- Morning sickness. If you never experienced morning sickness in your first pregnancy, it may happen in your second.
How long should you wait to get pregnant again?
It is crucial to give your body enough time to recover after your first pregnancy. You should wait for no less than 18 months to carry another pregnancy. That means that your firstborn will be about one and a half years old already. This process is called pregnancy spacing. It reduces chances of complications like premature birth and low birth weight in your second pregnancy.
Effects of a second pregnancy on your firstborn
Most women may not realize this, but carrying a second child may adversely affect the first child. This is because when pregnant with your second child, you may get more tired, less active, and more moody or anxious. Most children between the age of one and a half years and four years will be affected by such behavior from their pregnant mother.
Your child may start getting:
- Sleep disturbances
Why you may find it hard to get pregnant the second time
In some cases, you might find that you're not getting pregnant quickly the second time, while you experienced no problems the first time. This might be secondary infertility, which is common. It’s not something to blame yourself for. The issue of infertility may affect both men and women. Keep in mind that if you had a successful first pregnancy, chances are you are going to carry another baby.
If you are experiencing issues getting pregnant the second time, these factors might be the reason why:
- Age. Women over 35 years of age have a greater chance of experiencing secondary infertility. This is because your eggs reduce as you get older. However, you can still get pregnant.
- Low sperm count in men. The male’s low sperm count may also lead to secondary infertility. This may be caused by issues like being older, some medications, and testosterone supplements.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This is a condition that might cause irregular ovulation due to hormone imbalance.
- Obesity. Obesity may cause low sperm count in men and disrupt ovulation in women. Those two factors may cause secondary infertility in both men and women.
- Alcohol and smoking. Drinking alcohol and smoking may lead to fewer chances of conceiving in women and reduce the sperm count in men. These actions also reduce the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby.
Can you have vaginal delivery after a Cesarean section?
The simple answer to this question is yes, it is possible. Most of the women who have undergone a cesarean section procedure have a successful vaginal delivery afterward. However, it also depends on the reason you had the cesarean section in the first place. If you had severe issues with your first pregnancy, you should consult with your doctor or midwife on what's best for you.
To increase your chances of getting pregnant with a second child, it is crucial that you do the necessary planning. Make sure that you and your partner's overall health condition is good. Avoid things like drinking, smoking, bad diet, and bad working conditions. These factors may lead to reduced sperm quality in men, thus standing in the way of you getting pregnant.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
March of Dimes: "HOW LONG SHOULD YOU WAIT BEFORE GETTING PREGNANT AGAIN?"
NCT: "Second pregnancy: how do you feel about doing it all over again?"
NHS: "Planning another pregnancy."
The Australian & New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology: "The effects of a mother's second pregnancy on the firstborn child."
Tommy's: "How does a second pregnancy differ from the first?
Top Is It Easier to Get Pregnant the Second Time Related Articles
Can You Get Pregnant on Your Period?A common myth is that a woman can’t get pregnant while on her period. This is mostly true, but there is a catch here! Very rarely, a woman can get pregnant if she has unprotected sex on the first day of the period. This may happen if she has a 20-day period cycle.
How Many Days After Your Period Can You Get Pregnant?Getting pregnant just after your period is unlikely, but it’s not impossible. However, the chances of getting pregnant are low right after the periods compared to a few days or a week in the menstrual cycle.
Can You Get Pregnant Without Ovulating?You can't get pregnant if you are not ovulating because there is no egg for the sperm to fertilize. You can get pregnant if you have unprotected sex anywhere from 5 days before ovulation until 1 day after ovulation. A woman’s complete menstrual cycle is usually 24 to 37 days long, although some women may have somewhat shorter or longer cycles. Ovulation is your fertile phase of each month. During this phase, your ovaries (a woman’s reproductive organs) release an egg (ovum).
Early Pregnancy Symptoms Before Missed PeriodPregnancy symptoms vary from one woman to another. Women could have none of the symptoms but can still go on to have a perfectly healthy pregnancy. Usually missing a period after conception is considered a sign of pregnancy.
16 Early Signs & Symptoms of Pregnancy: Could You Be Pregnant?What are the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy? Can you know before your missed period? Read about nausea and vomiting (morning sickness), bloating, tender breasts, and more. Explore first trimester symptoms of pregnancy and learn what week pregnancy symptoms start.
Am I Pregnant QuizWhat are early pregnancy symptoms? In some women, symptoms range from a missed period to feeling lightheaded. Others may experience typical "morning sickness" and food cravings. Could you be pregnant? Take the quiz!
How Do You Find Out if You Are Able to Get Pregnant?Unfortunately, not every woman is able to get pregnant. There are many ways you can find out if you can become pregnant. Factors to consider include your age, menstrual history, weight, health history, and your use of alcohol and tobacco.
How Likely Is Pregnancy After Vasectomy?Despite having a very high success rate, there are still times when vasectomies fail. This is a rare situation. Less than 1% of vasectomies fail and result in pregnancies.
Ovulation & FertilityBoost fertility and increase your chances to conceive. Learn about ovulation calendars, diet, aging and other factors that can affect pregnancy.
Pregnancy: Multiple Births, Twins, Triplets, and MoreMultiple births occur when a woman bears twins, triplets, or even more babies during pregnancy. More multiples are born today thanks to assisted reproductive technology (ART), including in vitro fertilization using fertility drugs. Women carrying multiples often give birth via C-section.
Pregnancy Myths and Facts QuizBeing pregnant is a delicate time for both mother and baby. Take this pregnancy myths and facts quiz to separate the myths and facts about being pregnant, and learn the truth behind healthy pregnancies!
Pregnancy Planning (Tips)Pregnancy planning is an important step in preparation for starting or expanding a family. Planning for a pregnancy includes taking prenatal vitamins, eating healthy for you and your baby, disease prevention (for both parents and baby) to prevent birth defects and infections, avoiding certain medications that may be harmful to your baby, how much weight gain is healthy exercise safety and pregnancy, travel during pregnancy.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms: Am I Pregnant?Pregnancy symptoms can vary from woman to woman, and not all women experience the same symptoms. When women do experience pregnancy symptoms they may include symptoms including missed menstrual period, mood changes, headaches, lower back pain, fatigue, nausea, breast tenderness, and heartburn. Signs and symptoms in late pregnancy include leg swelling and shortness of breath. Options for relief of pregnancy symptoms include exercise, diet, and other lifestyle changes.
Pregnancy Diet (Menu Plans)When a woman is pregnant, she needs more vitamins, minerals, and other foods in her diet to stay healthy and deliver a healthy baby. A healthy pregnancy diet menu plan should consist of lots of fruits, vegetables, lean meats (unless you are vegan or vegetarian), and dairy. Examples of healthy pregnancy diet meal plans include holistic pregnancy diet, vegan or vegetarian diet, and low-carb diets. Begin your healthy eating plan around three months before you begin trying to conceive, and follow the same eating plan until after you have stopped breastfeeding. If you are overweight or obese, being pregnant is not the right time to try to lose weight. Discuss your options with your health care professional.
Stages of Pregnancy: Week by WeekSee pictures on the various stages of pregnancy. See and learn what changes a woman's body goes through and view fetal images of how her baby grows during the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
When Should You Stop Traveling While Pregnant?For uncomplicated pregnancies, it can be safe to travel during your pregnancy. However, the recommended time to travel is during your second trimester.