I'm pregnant with my second child. Can I expect any differences in my second pregnancy?

Answer From Julie A. Lamppa, C.N.M., R.N.

Every pregnancy is different — and there's no way to predict what someone's next pregnancy will be like.

However, during a second pregnancy there might be a few differences from the first pregnancy, including:

  • Different breast changes. During a second pregnancy, breast tenderness might not be as much of a problem. Also, breasts might not increase in size as much.
  • Showing earlier. Many people feel that they show earlier during their second pregnancy. This could be because the first pregnancy stretched their abdominal muscles.
  • Feeling the baby move earlier. Some people feel the baby move earlier during a second pregnancy simply because they know what to look for.
  • Changes in Braxton Hicks contractions. During a second pregnancy, some people might notice false labor contractions earlier.
  • Earlier discomforts. With second or later pregnancies, most people note typical discomforts of pregnancy, such as back pain and pelvic pressure, at an earlier gestational age.
  • Shorter labor. Labor might be shorter in a second pregnancy.

Also, people who have had complications during their first pregnancy might be at increased risk of the same problem in a second pregnancy or later pregnancies. These complications include premature birth, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, fetal growth restriction and postpartum depression. Talk to your health care provider about signs and symptoms to watch for and any steps you can take to reduce your risk.

April 29, 2022 See more Expert Answers