The good news just broke: You're going to be parents again! But while you are bursting with joy, some doubts might sneak up. Will the pregnancy be different this time? What about birth? Will Baby number 1 accept the new addition to the family?
When we were expecting our new baby, these were some questions we had, and based on our experience here is what we learned.
While you might already feel like a pro when it comes to pregnancy, birth and the ups and downs of motherhood, there are some things that can actually be surprised when having the second Baby.
Every pregnancy is unique, and the second pregnancy might be totally different than the one before. One thing many women agree on is that the baby bump shows earlier second time around. This is due to your ab muscles, which might have been a bit tighter in your first pregnancy.
Mother nature naturally loosens the abdominals the first time around, for a more efficient pregnancy. If you have not regained the muscle strength in your abs after the first pregnancy, most certainly you can expect to change into your maternity clothing a bit earlier this time.
Another common side effect of pregnancy number 2 is that women feel more tired than the first time, which of course makes sense, since you are already mother to a child and sleeping a full 8 hours can be a real luxury.
Also, as this is your second time being pregnant, your friends and family might not pamper you as much as the first time, if that is your case, don't be shy to ask for help!
Unfortunately, aches and pains can also be more common in second-time pregnancies. This is mainly because you have not recovered 100% from your first pregnancy, especially in rebuilding your back muscles.
On the positive note, many moms agree that the second pregnancy is easier than the first one since you already know what is coming and how to prepare for it.
As we stated earlier, every pregnancy is different and so is giving birth because labor can be much shorter this time. While an average first-time labor can be anywhere between 10 and 20 hours, the second time might only take 5 hours. The pushing stage is easier too, especially if you gave birth to your baby through vaginal delivery the first time. Stitches might also not be necessary when bearing your second baby.
Introducing the siblings
It is your choice when to share the good news with your first-born and it also depends on the age of the child. Either way, sometimes this can be an emotional roller coaster for your first-born. Every child needs its mommy for itself, especially during the first 2 years, so make sure that you involve him or her in all the fun stuff while preparing for your new arrival, making them feel important and excited to be the big sister or brother.
Psychologists agree that by showing your first-born pictures of the baby developing in your belly and showing him/her pictures of what she/he looked like after birth, in hospital, nursing and having the diaper changed, the firstborn will replay these upcoming events and understand them better.
Once the baby is there, it is essential to have some alone time with your toddler. You can leave your newborn with your partner or family while your toddler receives all the attention it needs to be happy and to not feel left behind. Make sure to have special items, such as a backup set of toys if family visits the newborn and didn't bring anything for the older sibling. While it is very important to keep the harmony between the two siblings, it is also of the essence to create clear norms of behavior. Make sure to create boundaries when needed and stick to them!
when we were pregnant with Philippa, we did some research and found that experts don't agree on this aspect of breastfeeding 100%.
While breastfeeding during a healthy pregnancy seems to be safe, there are some exceptions, especially if you are expecting twins or if you are bleeding or have uterine pain.
To be on the safe side, always consult with your doctor before making a decision. Usually, your breastmilk will go through some changes if you are pregnant again, due to your hormonal changes as your progesterone levels start rising. These changes can make your milk taste a bit saltier and there are many babies who don't like this taste and wean themselves off. If this is your case, make sure to switch to a formula that has all the nutrients your baby needs. Our favourites are Holle and Lebenswert.
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The date is getting closer, so is the excitement, only a few days or weeks left until giving birth... An important item you should have ready by now is your hospital bag.