Finding out that you are pregnant for the second time is an exciting time! After all, you have the benefit of experience and knowing the changes your body will go through. It’s natural to also feel apprehensive, as you’ll now be learning to care for your first born whilst coping with your own physical and emotional needs during pregnancy. HILDA (The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia) researched the effect of mental health in second time pregnancies and found that a mothers’ mental health can decline after giving birth for the second time, so it is important to make your self-care a priority at this incredible time.
Worries are completely normal, and you should not feel alone in your journey. Early Bird Swift, the award-winning pregnancy test brand, shares advice on managing pregnancy the second time round…
Will there be any differences from my first pregnancy?
It is hard to say whether there will be large differences from your first pregnancy. Some second-time pregnancies tend to have the same symptoms as the first, but some expectant mothers end up having a different range of symptoms.
You are likely to be in a different mindset than you were during your first pregnancy, as your life mostly revolves around your first child, naturally as they depend on you. Therefore, you likely have less time for yourself than with your first pregnancy and could feel more tired as a result of it.
It is completely natural to feel guilty about the upcoming birth of your second child and how this will affect your first born but try to remind yourself of all the positives. Your first born will adjust from the experience and once they have an understanding, they will love their new sibling. It is said that some siblings tend to encourage empathy in one another, and the other obvious positive is that they will always have a trusty companion!
Looking after yourself and your first child
As you’ll remember from the first-time round, pregnancy is a life changing experience, but you have every right to feel apprehensive about juggling between looking after yourself and your first born. It is important to ask for support from friends and family if possible to ensure you try to have more ‘me time’, like doing a yoga class, going out for a date night with your partner or catching up on some housework (this can feel very therapeutic without a toddler around!). Relax and look after your body as much as possible.
Pregnancy can be emotionally challenging, so it is important to be kind to yourself. Unlike your first pregnancy you have more to manage at home. So, when you are feeling tired when trying to achieve the things you used to easily do, let it go. If your laundry piles up, then it really isn’t the end of the world!
Involving your first born in your pregnancy
Involving your first born during your new pregnancy is key to helping them get excited about the birth of their new brother or sister. When telling your first born about the new pregnancy, let their questions guide the amount of detail you go into. The most natural question will probably be around where the baby is coming from and when it will arrive. If they are asking more questions and seem very interested, then it’s a great idea to encourage them by asking for their ideas on baby names – this will make them feel more involved. Furthermore, you could ask them to help you pack a bag for the hospital (even as a roleplay scenario) to get them excited for your new arrival.