When facing a second and subsequent pregnancies, women generally ask themselves two fundamental things: will I be able to cope better by having previously gone through this experience? and how does it change? The answer to these rhetorical questions will likely depend on how positive or negative your previous pregnancy experience has been . In this sense, the mother with a previous first pregnancy where everything has proceeded normally will probably feel encouraged and excited when facing the second. Otherwise, if your first experience has been negative and accompanied by complications, it is normal for you to show restlessness, greater fear and insecurity.
Be that as it may, no two pregnancies are the same , both emotionally and physically. We are going to analyze the advantages that the fact of having already gone through this experience entails for non-first-time parents and those things that could change.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE FIRST PREGNANCY AND THE FOLLOWING
If the second or subsequent pregnancies occur when the siblings are small, it is likely that they will face more fatigue and stress, since it is not only facing the challenges of pregnancy, but also the family members. Feelings of guilt may arise from feeling that you are not taking sufficient care of children or that you are not taking sufficient care of yourself during pregnancy. Women facing a second pregnancy tend to find themselves more fatigued and tired during pregnancy, but this is because they have less time to rest and relax.
It is possible that the tummy is noticeable much earlier than in the first pregnancy and that the baby begins to move several weeks earlier than the first. If with the first pregnancy, until approximately the fifth month it was not noticeable, now it will be more evident after the first 12 weeks of gestation. The abdominal muscles are more distended and adapt faster to the growth of the baby.
Although the belly grows earlier, the mother does not necessarily weigh more. Moreover, it has been seen that multiparous women have a lower weight gain than first-time mothers, which does not affect the weight of the baby: it is more common for the second child to weigh more than the first at birth.
The symptoms of pregnancy will also appear earlier (nausea, vomiting, fatigue, drowsiness …). Also, pelvic joint pain may appear earlier and more intensely than in the first pregnancy. With each pregnancy, the pressure on the joints increases, so you will have to take great care of your body posture.
If you suffered from any disease during your first pregnancy (such as diabetes or intrahepatic cholestasis) it is possible that it will reappear. Also, if you’ve had pre-eclampsia , it may come back. On the contrary, if you have not suffered it in the first pregnancy, there is very little chance that it will appear in this one.
If it is the third or fourth vaginal delivery, it is more difficult for the cervix to remain closed until the end of the pregnancy, and the baby will be born earlier.
As for everything, there is always a first time and although love for all children is always unconditional and intense, the first experience of pregnancy is still much more emotionally intense.
ADVANTAGES OF NON-FIRST-TIME PARENTS
If we have already had other previous pregnancies, we have the following advantages:
– Sometimes in the following pregnancies nausea does not occur, although it does not always happen. It is possible that, as in the previous pregnancy, varicose veins, hemorrhoids or urinary incontinence appear. However, you will already be trained to cope and treat it.
– You already know the changes in the body, the possible diseases that may appear and you will know how to act.
– Having lived it, you will already know the diet to follow and the nutritional precautions.
– You will also know the emotional changes that accompany pregnancy, the fears, concerns and anxieties. Now that you know the cause, it is convenient that you approach them in a rational way with the people around you and with your doctor or psychologist. All the more so if the first pregnancy experience was very negative.
– Multiparous women dilate faster , have fewer complications during childbirth and make less use of analgesia and epidurals .
– In general, labor is shorter (an average of five hours less), but it implies a greater probability of spontaneous delivery (30% more), less blood loss and fewer episiotomy practices.
– Women who have already been mothers suffer less from the psychological consequences of the postpartum period in successive pregnancies.
– They suffer less stress and less worry about how they will develop in their role as parents.
HOW CHILDREN COPE WITH THE ARRIVAL OF A BABY BROTHER
Depending on the age that the child is when the new baby arrives in the family, the experience for it will be very different:
– 10 and 18 months: You will not be aware. There will be great rapport between siblings when they grow up because they will share cognitive development, experiences and physical changes typical of age, together.
– From 18 to 36 months: the little one sets his personality and denial and rebellion appear. The jealous are very present. As he gets older, he realizes that his brother is an ally and not a competitor for his parents’ love and toys.
– From 3 to 5 years: the “threat” will be less, since at this age the child begins to be emotionally independent.
– From the age of 5: they will share fewer childhood moments and their relationship may be less affectionate and more distant. But the older will feel less jealous and like to take care of the baby.
To address the arrival of a new baby brother with the children, dedicate time to him, make it clear that he will be loved as much or more than before and that the arrival of the new baby will mean even more love for both of you. Involve him in the plans for the arrival of the new baby (room decoration, shopping …), explain how important his help will be to the family, be patient with his reaction and try to understand him. Provide as much information as possible about the day of delivery (who will you stay with, when will you meet your baby brother, etc.)