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As a second time mom, you may be familiar with pregnancy but there’s no guarantee this pregnancy will be like your first, in fact, it probably won’t be. For a lot of moms, a second pregnancy is an entirely new experience. Here are some things to keep in mind the second time around…
Sharing the news:
We’re often taught that nothing compares to the “first time”…your first pregnancy, those first kicks or those first words. Sometimes we’re lead to believe that our family and friends may be less excited about a second pregnancy, but that’s simply not true. Second pregnancies can be oodles of fun, for instance, your little one can help you share the “pregnancy news” with your spouse and you’ll never forget the glow that comes cross your child’s face when they learn about their new sibling. Trust me, you’ll cry tears of joy and everyone else will too when they hear about your new addition! So, embrace the moment and don’t forget to send out pregnancy announcements, as you did with your first!
At the onset of your first pregnancy, you probably called the doctor right away and kept track of your pregnancy down to the day. The second time around you might feel more distracted; not only are you tending to your own needs but you’re prepping your family for the transition. For this reason, some moms feel less “in tune” with their second pregnancy and are less enthused about doctor’s appointments, baby classes, and nesting. Keep in mind, this is completely normal. Just remember to take time for yourself and enjoy the process. I highly recommend purchasing a bump book ; it’ll force you to reclaim some “me time” and reflect on the awesome journey.
While morning sickness and cravings are often a tell-tale sign of pregnancy, they ARE NOT a predictor of gender. For many women, the second pregnancy is very different from the first, regardless of gender. While many of us expect our symptoms to be the same, it rarely happens that way. If during your first pregnancy you felt amazing, the second time you may indeed carry the same gender but have remarkably different symptoms including headaches, exhaustion, insomnia, anxiety, or even hot flashes (or visa versa). As it turns out, doctors say second pregnancies tend to be much harder; I’m sure it’s because we’re chasing our little ones around!
Your bump will start showing and your breasts will start growing much earlier than they did during your first pregnancy. You may find yourself needing maternity clothes weeks earlier but don’t panic, this is completely normal. Don’t be alarmed if your body celebrates the second pregnancy with a surge of changes and some early weight gain, you’ll find that everything evens out in the second trimester.
An awesome aspect of a second pregnancy is knowing what a baby’s movement and kicks feel like. There’s a good chance you’ll feel your baby moving well before your 20 week appointment, in fact, some mothers may feel movement as early as 16 weeks! You might also notice that your baby is sitting much lower than your first child did. Perhaps this wouldn’t be a big deal but when your baby uses your bladder as a pillow, you’re more likely to pee when you laugh or sneeze! This is and “carrying slightly differently” occurs because your pelvic muscles remain stretched out from your first pregnancy. If it becomes really bothersome, you might want to consider a pregnancy belt for added support.
When people find out you’re pregnant, there’s a good chance they’ll immediately ask if “you know what you’re having”. These days, there’s a lot of hype around “finding out” and gender reveals, particularly with a second child. As a parent, you may feel the desire to prepare your first child for a brother -OR- sister…but in reality, young children may not be able to fully grasp the concept until their sibling arrives!
According to Dr. Laura Cha, a New York City based OB/GYN, “These days, only about 10 to 20 percent of patients keep the sex a surprise,” however, it’s important to note that the decision to “find out” can be emotional for couples looking to “complete their family” with a particular gender. In fact, it’s been found that 1 out of 5 women experience “gender disappointment” and may have to “reframe” their vision for the future, when the outcome isn’t what they expected. For these reasons, it’s important to determine whether a gender reveal is best for you and your family. Some like to celebrate with style, while others prefer to keep the moment private, and others wait until delivery.
Choosing a name:
Naming a child is a big parenting decision. Oddly, names that you previously considered may have fallen out of favor and it might be time to draft a new list unique to baby #2. When considering names, it’s important to choose options that are distinctive and honor each child’s individuality. Beware of the sibling name trap in which your children have similar sounding names or begin with the same initial. It’s also good to resist rhymes, sound plays, and trending pairings, but have fun with the process!
Enjoy your second pregnancy and congratulations!
References: Gender Disappointment: Expectant Mother’s Confess Secret Regrets- January 29, 2013- Morgan Brasfield. Today contributor, Quote from Dr. Laura Cha, a New York City based OB/GYN
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