Second Pregnancy Surprises: Differences to Expect This Time

By Jennifer Bingham Hull

Pregnant with the second child? Think your pregnancy will be the same as last time?

Think again. Most women experience emotional and physical differences that make the second pregnancy a whole new ball game. Here’s what to expect:

*You’ll be more tired. During your first pregnancy, you could put your feet up. Now you’re potty training a toddler. One of the biggest second pregnancy differences is that this time you’re caring for a young child. Let the house go and get Dad involved with the tyke. Discuss how you can share parenting as the family grows.

*You’ll worry about your older child. Most women pregnant with the second baby fear losing intimacy with their first child. Those tales of sibling rivalry can make you feel guilty for even having another baby. With a little effort, though, you can stay close to your firstborn. And remember, a sibling is usually a blessing, not a curse.

*You’ll show sooner. Break out that old maternity wardrobe! A woman pregnant with her second child can expect to show a month earlier than she did the first time around. You may be ready for those stretch pants long before the second trimester.

*You won’t record it. Skip the guilt. Pregnancy journals are for first-timers. Being less interested in your second pregnancy is natural. It isn’t any indication of how much you’ll love your second child.

*You’ll feel movement earlier. A mom pregnant with her second child usually feels her baby move at four months, compared to five for a woman pregnant for the first time. Expect kicks sooner with this infant.

*You’ll wonder about managing two. Rest assured that you will handle the challenges ahead. That toddler who is now throwing tantrums will also outgrow them. Do, however, take the number of any babysitter with muscles.

*You may hog the bathroom. Don’t be surprised if you urinate more often this time. You’ll be carrying your second child lower than you did your first, resulting in pressure on your bladder and perhaps back pain. Make extra pit stops on that road trip.

*You’ll deliver faster. One of the best second pregnancy differences is that labor and delivery are shorter this time. So don’t dally on the way to the hospital. Tell Dad to step on the gas!

(c) 2010 Jennifer Bingham Hull. Reprint rights granted as long as the article is published in its entirety, including the resource box and its live links.

About the Author

Jennifer Bingham Hull is an award-winning author and mother of two. Her book, Beyond One: Growing a Family and Getting a Life, looks at life after the second child. To learn more, visit, where you can contact her to receive this Parenting Tips column and sign up for her free newsletter.

About Jennifer

A former journalist for The Wall Street Journal and Time, Jennifer is the award-winning author of Beyond One: Growing a Family and Getting a Life and pens the MidAge Mom blog.

She’s profiled exceptional women from the Middle East to Latin America. Widely published, her essays have been included in two anthologies.

Jennifer is also a frequent radio and TV guest. Full Bio

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In Beyond One, Jennifer chronicles her leap from one child to two, describing the enormous impact the second child has on a woman’s body, marriage, family life, friendships and work.

"Hull is the kind of woman many moms long to be friends with. . ." -The Cleveland Plain Dealer.


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