5 Tips for Second Pregnancies

Sasha Brown-Worsham

pregnant mom and child
Flickr photo by Sean Dreilinger
There's a myth going around various mom groups and the Internet. That myth? Second pregnancies are easier. 

Physically? Maybe. If you're lucky. But any other way? Not so much.

Think about it. Not only are you experiencing all the joys of the first pregnancy -- nausea, exhaustion, various aches and pains -- but you're also doing it with another child underfoot.

I found out I was pregnant with ,y second child when my first child was only 9 months old. Since she was a late-ish walker (14 1/2 months), I spent much of my pregnancy hauling a 22+ pound sack of flour.

It wasn't easy.

But it doesn't always have to be so rough.

Fellow blogger Julia Magnusson of Boston, Massachusetts, is about to become a second-time mama this month (her first child, a son, is 23 months old). She offered a couple tips:

  • "Don't do it.  No, wait, too late for that."
  • "Your body (and pregnancy) may not be the same as during your first pregnancy. Maybe you were able to work out like a madwoman the first time around, but maybe not this time. Listen to your body and your midwife (or doctor). I learned the hard way and tore some ligaments after my knee gave out, thanks to the lovely relaxin flowing through my body."
  • "Be aware of your own limitations, and don't be afraid to make these clear to visitors. Especially visitors who want to show up late in the evening and linger far too long. Before you find yourself being absolutely, ungraciously rude (as I found myself last night), either pull your partner aside and ask him or her to clear out the guests -- if you lack the energy or any last shred of niceness to do it yourself -- or simply excuse yourself as 'tired' and leave the room." 

A couple more from me:

  • Think about what you need ahead of time, especially toward the end of the pregnancy. The day I went into labor with my son, I called my parents in tears begging them to come over and help me as I couldn't face another long, end-of-summer (it was August) day with my busy 18-month-old. Unfortunately for me, they were too busy. Had I planned ahead and had childcare in place for that miserable last couple weeks, I wouldn't have been in that position. Additionally, plan to need a ton of help after the baby is born. Have it in place. I went six weeks without having to be alone for a full day with a newborn and a toddler, and it saved my life.
  • A second pregnancy is the perfect time to relax your standards -- so the kid watches some extra Curious George while mommy sits in the air-conditioned living room. So you order takeout instead of making quinoa salad and sitting down as a family. So you bag the water park and let the kid splash in the bathtub instead. It's all OK. You will, believe it or not, be back to normal again and then you can have all those standards back, but those last few weeks of pregnancy are a really good time to ease up and slack a little.

How close together will your kids be? What are your tips for making the second pregnancy smooth sailing?

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