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The difference between first and second pregnancies

Posted on 18 April 2016

(Image by the inspiring @gparrish.)

Those two faint lines hold so much more meaning the second time around. The journey through pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing is not so enigmatic and reality sets in. Can I do it again? What have I learnt and how will I cope (with two!)? For some women, the emotional attachment to their first is so strong that they can’t possibly imagine having enough love for another.

Coping and thriving during the second pregnancy is something that women often struggle with. The luxury of rest and self-indulgence is often more difficult (if not impossible), and as the due date creeps up, the excitement of having a sweet, cooing baby may well give way to the reality of sleepless newborn nights coupled with high energy toddler days.

So to help the second time round, we’ve compiled a list of tips:

  1. Learn to lift

Second time mums-to-be with dependent toddlers will need to build strength in order to lift their toddler correctly to avoid back strain. If your toddler is old enough, teach him to use a footstool or hold her hand whilst getting into the bath or bed. Let your partner do the lifting where possible and, when unavoidable, always bend your knees. Strength training under the supervision of a physio or GP may also help build your muscles in preparation for the juggle between lifting a toddler and carrying a newborn.

  1. Invest in Exercise

Of course, we advocate for healthy, safe and moderate exercise during all pregnancies. However, the way in which you manage your time during the second pregnancy may vary. Enlist the help of a partner or family member to look after your little one while you take a Barre or yoga class. Get out for a stroll with the pram and make it a family ritual. Exercise DVDs are also very useful during nap times. Or if you are working, recruit your colleagues and take a walk during your lunch break to get some fresh air and stretch those legs.

  1. Eat Well

Eat a range of nutritious and delicious foods to nourish you and your baby. This will help with your energy levels and general health during pregnancy. Try preparing family meals in advance and having them ready to go in the fridge or freezer for those hectic days that just creep up on you. We have lots of delicious and sustainable recipes coming to our blog soon, so look out for them!

  1. Rest When You Can

Although your brain might be buzzing, learn to relax and switch off so you can give the best to yourself, your newborn and the little one inside you. Meditation can aide in this – try a ten minute meditation at www.headspace.com to help you wind down.

  1. Be Kind to Yourself

Remember what is most important and prioritise accordingly. Sometimes, as a parent, you will do things that your pre-baby self would have shunned. Forgive yourself and move on. Give yourself the love and advice that you would give to your best friend.

The good news? You WILL have enough love for your newborn and whilst the processes of pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing will be familiar, they will rarely be identical, so enjoy the journey.

Do you have any tips for the second-time mums? Please comment below!

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