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Pregnancy: The Second Time Around

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Sister and Newborn Sibling
Photo © Kati Molin - Fotolia.com

Pregnancy the second time, does have its differences. Despite the fact that you are a veteran, you will be in for some surprises, both physical and mental. Physically you will find that you experience a lot of the sensations of tugging, pulling and expanding about a month sooner than in your first pregnancy. This is because the uterus is less likely to yield having stretched before. While this sounds like a downfall, there are added benefits, like also recognizing fetal movements about a month earlier as well.

Being a multip (multipara means having already had a child) means that you may also experience more frequent and possibly more painful Braxton-Hicks contractions, especially towards the end of pregnancy. While these changes may seem to be downfalls, take heart in the fact that your body knows what it is doing.

With your first pregnancy you probably spent a lot of mental and emotional energy on your pregnancy. Now that you have other children to take care of you may feel emotionally distant from this pregnancy. This is a normal reaction and is by no means an indication that you will love this baby any less. Your partner will also probably be less interested in this pregnancy.

One thing that I suggest to help increase emotional involvement and attachment is to attend another series of childbirth classes. Many second time mothers may be anxious about labor and birth because of what they know. You would be surprise what you will hear in class the second time around. A lot of my second timers say that they actually learned more because they were open to more possibilities, knowing that labor wasn't a predictable course. This also gives you a chance to spend time with your partner and focus on this pregnancy.

Mothers might also worry about there being enough love for another child. How in the world could anyone ever live up to the wonder of your first born? Well, remember this baby is a different child and will have unique talents and characteristics of his or her own. Your love isn't a finite number, it is a never ending supply of emotions. So take your time. You may have to take time to fall in love with your newborn, but that can be common even with first babies.

So, enjoy this pregnancy and try to "sleep when the baby sleeps." Even if the baby is 3 or 4 years old!

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