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Difference Between First and Second Pregnancy 

Difference Between First and Second Pregnancy 

Experiencing pregnancy for a woman is quite magical. It is a divine bond between you and your baby for full 9 months. You spend your time reading books about pregnancy, Dos and Don’ts. You are always day dreaming of what your little angel will look like or be like. You are filled with an excitement that will likely remain unrivalled for the rest of your life.

By the time you do it again- things are noticeably different for number of reasons. Some of the experiences are quite similar to the ones you had in your first pregnancy and some would be entirely different.  Just as every baby is unique, so is every pregnancy. The foods and drinks we crave, the shape of our baby bumps, our emotional status, our skin and our activities can all be very different in second or subsequent pregnancies.

But for women who suffered from bad body aches, contractions and severe morning sickness and vomiting in their first pregnancy, can things be really different when they are pregnant for the second time?


Difference between first and second pregnancy

1) Fatigue

First pregnancy

Fatigue is common during pregnancy. During first pregnancy, you may or may not feel tired. Fatigue is common during the first trimester and it goes away during the second trimester. However, it will usually return in the third trimester. You are able to take naps when ever you like in your first pregnancy.

Second pregnancy

You feel more tired and drained out during second pregnancy as you are chasing your toddler 24*7 apart from hauling a big belly. You hardly get any time to take naps. Your body uses much more energy in your second pregnancy.

Difference Between First and Second Pregnancy 

2) Bump size

First pregnancy

With your first pregnancy, you will mostly have a neat bump and it shows up between 12-16 weeks.

Second pregnancy

The bump will always show earlier in subsequent pregnancies (you show up in 8 weeks’ time or even early). Because of your first pregnancy, your muscles become lax, your bump spreads out a bit and your abdominal muscles get stretched and they’re weaker. All these reasons are responsible for showing up early in the second pregnancy.

3) Braxton Hicks contractions

First pregnancy

The contractions usually start when you are about seven weeks pregnant, but you don’t experience them at first. In case of first pregnancy, you start experiencing those contractions from about 16 weeks

Second pregnancy

Mummies pregnant for the second time are most likely to experience kicks and Braxton Hicks contractions lightning crotch much earlier than their first pregnancy. However, the nature of kicks is the same and show their appearance at least a week earlier than they did the first time around.

4) Morning sickness

First pregnancy

Though morning sickness varies from pregnancy to pregnancy, yet in your first pregnancy, you may feel just fine. You will experience mild nausea in the initial weeks and this nausea could be accompanied by vomiting several times a day until the second trimester. In some cases, you vomit throughout your pregnancy and in some pregnancies, you are just fine- neither nausea nor vomiting.

Second pregnancy

In case you experienced bad morning sickness in your first pregnancy, you will be struck down with terrible and chronic morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum, in your second pregnancy for sure. Women who have a toddler to chase, generally feel the effect of morning sickness more keenly as they manage their toddler as well as the morning sickness. Also, fatigue often exacerbates the impact of morning sickness, and pregnant moms with a kid are generally fatigued.

5) Complications

First pregnancy

You may or may not have any complications during your first pregnancy. Complications which may develop include preterm labour or preeclampsia, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Second pregnancy

If you did not have any complications in your first pregnancy, the likeliness of having them in second pregnancy is nil. However, women who had complications in the first time will develop them again in the second time.

6) Symptoms

First pregnancy

You experience back pain and haemorrhoids and this typically occurs during the third trimester. Dizziness, morning sickness and cravings are some other symptoms.

Second pregnancy

Your first pregnancy makes your musco-skeletal structure and vessel walls quite weak. Due to this, your pregnancy related health issues that typically occur after the third trimester, strike and resurface much earlier during your second pregnancy.

The good news is that any potential morning sickness and cravings should not be worse than they are during your first pregnancy.

7) Mood swings

First pregnancy

Mood swings during pregnancy can be triggered by physical stress, exertion, hormonal changes (imbalance between oestrogen and progesterone), and metabolic changes. You feel mood changes mostly in the first trimester between six to ten weeks and then again in the third trimester as your body prepares for birth. If it is your first pregnancy, mood swings will not be very intense.

Second pregnancy

In your second pregnancy, your mood swings are intense. You are impatient as you are dealing not only with those pregnancy hormones which make your mood shift on a dime, but you are struggling with all whole different emotions. Sometimes you are laughing hysterically and the very next moment, you would be sobbing like a baby. Sometimes you are all calm and the next moment, you will be infuriated. The mood swings with second pregnancy are mostly downright insane.

8) Back pain and body aches

First pregnancy

As your belly size grows in your first pregnancy, your back muscles suffer strain and at the same time hormonal levels change as well. Your torso and posture are thrown out of alignment in the later weeks of pregnancy and the increasing weight pulls on your back causing back pain and body aches.

Second pregnancy

Back pain and body aches increase when you are pregnant for the second time. It happens more if you have not paid attention to exercise and your muscles are weak. Bending and lifting makes the back pain even worse if you had experienced it in your first pregnancy. Sacroiliac joint pain and discomfort start early in second pregnancy.

9) Labour

First pregnancy

The labour is long and mostly takes 8 hours, and is unlikely to last longer than 18 hrs. Your cervix takes time to open up and the uterus muscles and vagina walls get stretched for the first time for the baby’s head to pass through the birth canal.

Second pregnancy

You may feel stronger contractions and at greater frequency than the first time around, and open up your cervix quite fast. Unless you had a caesarean in your first pregnancy, it will probably be easy for the baby’s head to pass through the birth canal. This is because the uterus muscles and the elastic walls of the vagina have been stretched before. So, the labour will be faster in the second time. The labour time could be 5 hours, and is unlikely to last longer than 12 hrs.

10) Post-partum recovery

First pregnancy

Post-partum recovery in the first pregnancy is easier and less painful. In most of the cases, you resume normal household things within a couple of days. You go for walks, you are up and moving and the after-birth pains vanish in some time. You regain your pre- pregnancy body shape in some weeks.

Second pregnancy

The post-partum recovery in second pregnancy is hard, severe and difficult. You stay in bed most of the time because of felling exhausted. This happens because the uterus has to contract more in second pregnancy to regain its original size and also the pain is more intense. While nursing, you might feel shaky, hurt, nauseous and really hot. You may even experience heavy bleeding and your breasts are more engorged. It takes a lot of time for recovery in case of second pregnancy.


The points of difference between first pregnancy and second pregnancy have been summarized below:

first pregnancy VERSUS second pregnancy


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References :

[0]Bean, M., (2017, July 3). The Difference Between First and Second Pregnancies (It’s Not Pretty...) (Blog post). Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-difference-between-first-and-second-pregnancies_us_58be7da5e4b0abcb02ce21e7. 

[1]The differences between a first and second pregnancy. Retrieved from https://thewhitfordlife.com/the_differences_between_a_first_and_second_pregnancy/ 

[2]What’s different in your second pregnancy? Retrieved from http://www.newkidscenter.com/Second-Pregnancy.html 

[3]Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/child-pregnancy-pregnant-mom-35535/

[4]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/bebe-child-pregnant-woman-boy-1910305/

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