Your first and second pregnancies: The differences you may notice

Being pregnant for the first time is so unique and things may be a little different second time around

The differences in your first and second pregnancies

No two pregnancies are the same, but you may notice these differences from the first, when you are pregnant a second time

Pregnant woman with toddler

There’s almost a Zen-like quality to the first pregnancy, even with morning sickness and a thickening waistline. 

It’s a feeling you’ve never experienced before and while it can be a scary time, it’s also very exciting. You read all the books for every scrap of advice, sign up for a yoga class and play soft music to your bump. You’re going to be the best mum ever, breastfeeding will be a breeze, the little one will be sleeping through in no time and you’ll fall back into your skinny jeans within a few weeks. 

The big difference between pregnancy no 1 and no 2 is knowledge. Firstly, you have none, and then you have too much.

Here are some of those big differences you may notice second time around.

1. Sleep, baby, sleep

When you’re pregnant with no 1, there’s no demanding toddler to mollify - so you take a daytime nap whenever you feel like one. With no 2, there is no such luxury and, to add insult to injury, toddler starts waking up during the night.

2. Mind yourself

With no 1, you are sooooo careful about what you eat and drink. You ask the waiter if the salmon is farmed, you pore over labels to check for any additives, and worry incessantly about toxins in the environment. By the second bump, you eat pretty much whatever you fancy, when you fancy it.

3. Birth plan

First time round, you plan a water birth with a doula and whale music - second time, you ask about booking an epidural on your first hospital visit.

4. You wear it well

You are simply dying to wear maternity clothes with a first pregnancy. You buy cute T-shirts with ‘I’m the mummy’ and floaty Earth Mother dresses. Second time: maternity tracksuits all the way, baby.

5. Planning

You’re very organised on the first go, from designing the nursery to  stocking up on nappies and food. With the second, you’re lucky to have your hospital bag packed when your waters break.

6. Advice

First time round, you want everyone’s opinion, from the baby books to your mother-in-law. For the second baby, you donate the books to the charity shops and go by your own gut instinct.

7. Fear

You worry you’re going to drop the baby, drown it, or squash it. You realise second time round that you’re not as dangerous as you thought you were.

8. Time

You have lots of it first time round and precious little on the second run. But even though it’s more of a muddle, it’s still a precious moment when no 2 comes into the world and, generally speaking, you feel a lot more confident about your parenting skills.

Your first and second pregnancies: The differences you may notice