I was recently chatting with a mom who is expecting baby number 2 when she suddenly informed me that she suspects her baby might be out by about the 37th week because second babies usually come out earlier. Seeing my surprise, she went on to explain how this was because her body had gone through pregnancy before and with its resulting stretched parts and all, it is therefore better prepared to go through the whole process again.

So, I went ahead to do my own research and discovered my friend was not alone in this school of thought. In fact some say second babies arrive about 6 days early. Some other things I also discovered that people were saying about 2nd pregnancies is that…

  • The pregnant looking tummies tend to shoot out earlier because moms’ abdominal muscles are not as toned as they used to be
  • Mom may feel baby move as early as week 16. Some suggest that this is because this time around, mom knows what to look out for
  • Stretch marks are usually less because your body has previously done all the necessary stretching the first time around. This may not be so for moms who haven’t lost their baby fat by the time they get pregnant again
  • If you went through nausea the first time, you’re likely to go through it again. But the intensity will vary
  • If your pregnancies are really closely spaced, aches and pains may be more because you will be involved in a lot of ‘bending over’ as you care for both yourself and your toddler
  • The baby’s head is likely to get engaged in mom’s pelvis much later than it did during the first pregnancy. Sometimes they say this does not even happen until contractions begin
  • Contractions usually get stronger faster and mom’s cervix opens quicker because the pelvic floor walls and vaginal walls have already been stretched before
  • Labor is usually shorter. In fact following the active stage which could range between 5 -12 hours, pushing,  they say, is usually not up to two hours
  • Second babies tend to be a bit bigger than the first
  • In general, second pregnancies tend to be less complicated. But I will strongly advise that if you had complications like high blood pressure during your first pregnancy, bring it to the attention of your doctor because there is that risk of those complications arising again

Now interestingly, even though all the stated facts are statistically the rules, I also discovered that there are many exceptions to them, especially the one about second babies arriving earlier than the first. There are many moms whose second, third and fourth babies arrived later than the first. So I guess my own take will be that every woman is different, every pregnancy is different, every labor is different, every baby is different. You may be lucky to get it over with much easier and faster this second time around. Or you may lucky to have the strength to successfully go through even worse rigors during ’round 2′. What’s important is that baby comes out strong and healthy. 

With that being said, what was your own experience like? Did your second baby come out earlier? Was pregnancy and labor any easier? Was your baby bigger or smaller? Did you get that pregnant look way too early? When did you first feel your baby move? Do share with us!

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