How a Second Pregnancy Differs from the First

During your second pregnancy, you won't have the opportunity to rest as much as during the first because you also have your firstborn to care for.
How a Second Pregnancy Differs from the First
Maricela Jiménez López

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Maricela Jiménez López.

Written by Thady Carabaño

Last update: 26 May, 2022

A woman’s first pregnancy is usually overwhelming. She has a lot of expectations and, believe it or not, the most intense emotion she may feel is fear. Her second pregnancy, however, may be calmer.

Since women know what to expect during this time around, they typically feel calmer. However, for others, it can be much more exciting and stressful all at once.

Although pregnant women know the events that can occur during pregnancy, every pregnancy is a new experience. Undoubtedly, a second pregnancy has a lot in common with the first, but it’s also unique in its own way.

Being Pregnant with Your Second Child

Although firstborns turn women into experienced mothers, a lot of women don’t realize that a new pregnancy can be more difficult than the first.

This new pregnancy comes with many physical and emotional changes that the soon-to-be mother has to deal with while caring for her firstborn at the same time. This is a big challenge.

This article may also interest you: Our Older Siblings: Friends and Second Parents

How a Second Pregnancy Differs from the First

The following things include some of the main differences during a second pregnancy:

A pregnant woman with her firstborn.
  • Forget about enjoying the sleepiness pregnancy causes. Yes, you’ll probably no longer be able to enjoy those long naps that you enjoyed during your first pregnancy. This is because your first child demands your attention and love, even more so if they’re small.
  • However, you’ll probably have more energy than your first pregnancy. After all, you already possess the so-called “maternal powers”. You’re a supermom, capable of working, raising your child, doing housework, caring for your partner, and taking care of your pregnancy at the same time.
  • Your first child will be the best companion during this time. Since the baby is in the womb, they’ll stimulate them and build a bond with them, which will grow as your belly grows.
  • Also, you may be able to have the delivery you didn’t have the first time. If you didn’t dare to have a water birth or give birth at home the first time, maybe you’ll decide to try it out now. It’s even possible to give birth vaginally if your first baby was delivered by Caesarean section.
  • During your first pregnancy, you were the center of attention of your family and friends. However, the attention may decrease with this pregnancy. However, this shouldn’t worry you! They’ll still shower you with love, just not like the first time.

Breastfeeding During Your Second Pregnancy

A girl kissing her mom's pregnant belly.

If you firmly believed in breastfeeding your first child until they turned two but were surprised to hear of your new pregnancy, don’t despair or rush into weaning.

Many mothers or grandmothers will tell you that you can’t breastfeed while you’re pregnant. Some doctors also believe that breastfeeding could increase changes of miscarriage. However, don’t let this alarm you.

If you have a healthy pregnancy, don’t worry. Could you feel contractions? Yes, it’s very likely, but if they occur, they will be mild ones that won’t jeopardize your health or your baby’s life. Thus, you can keep breastfeeding your first child!

Now, if you suffer from any of the following conditions, you should consult your doctor or midwife before doing so. They may advise you to wean:

  • A high-risk pregnancy, due to your age or gestational disorders.
  • If you’re expecting twins.
  • If you had uterine bleeding.

Take a look at this article: The Risks of Pregnancy After Age 40

Final Thoughts

Being pregnant is one of the most enriching experiences. Your second pregnancy will be different than the first because you already have a child to care for. Thus, you need to build a healthy bond with your firstborn while you wait for the new baby’s arrival.

Make sure to try to be as calm as possible, as your child needs to feel you’re at peace. This new pregnancy may stress you out a bit more than your first. This is because although you’re happy and confident with the child that’s on the way, your firstborn may be demanding.

Just make sure to enjoy your new pregnancy to the fullest! Prepare yourself better, as you’ll have to deal with new challenges now that you’re going to the mother of two children.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.