What to Expect in your Second Pregnancy
Congratulations! You're pregnant again and your family is growing. You are most likely feeling calmer since you know what to expect this time around. You may even want to start a pregnancy journal so that you can be sure to remember this special time. Let's face it, by now you are a well-seasoned mom and your baby will soon become a big brother or sister.
However, you probably have some questions about how this pregnancy will be different from your first. Will your this pregnancy be harder than the before? Probably not. Because your cervix has softened, your delivery time may be quicker and most likely easier. Second pregnancy symptoms will also start to show sooner.
Yet, the second pregnancy may be harder if you had the baby blues with your first pregnancy. This indicates that you may have a more severe case with your second child. Also, if you had Rh disease your first time around, it could pose more of a problem this time. Again, most women feel more comfortable, as they've experienced this process once before.
Second Pregnancy Emotions
Second pregnancy issues wouldn't be complete without a look at the emotional and sociological changes that occur.
Responses to Your Pregnancy
If you have a second pregnancy soon following your first, you may notice some subtle, disapproving signals from friends and family. The same will be encountered if this pregnancy follows an already full nest. Don't let these sorts of reproaches affect your pregnancy.
You will once again be changing the balance of your family dynamics. There will be less time to spend with either your husband or your older child once you're caring for the newborn. The upside is that you've conquered these issues once before and know what to expect.
Possible Second Pregnancy Complications
Rh Disease in Second Pregnancies
Everyone is born with either Rh positive or Rh negative type blood. About 15% of Caucasians and 5% of African Americans have Rh negative blood. Because the Rh antigens found on the red blood cells are a dominant genetic trait, whenever an Rh negative woman has a child with an Rh negative man, there will be a great probability of the baby being Rh positive. If the fetus' blood should happen to leak into the mother's blood stream, her blood will develop antibodies that will attack her baby's red blood cells.
Rh disease can cause low or high-risk anemia or inter-uterine death. Second pregnancies run a greater risk of Rh disease as the previous baby's blood probably mingled with the mother's blood stream during delivery.
Prevention. Regardless of your baby's blood type, your doctor may inject you with RhoGam at 28 weeks. This will destroy any of your baby's blood cells that enter your own blood stream to prevent your body from creating antibodies.
Treatment. Rh titers, or the amount of antibody you have, will have to be measured throughout your pregnancy. If levels become critical, amniocentesis will be conducted in order to transfuse your baby's blood supply to Rh negative. The transfusion takes place through the umbilical cord. These procedures are a bit risky and therefore doctors sometimes prefer to induce early labor and then administer the blood transfusion.
Hyperemesis and Your Second Pregnancy
Women who experienced Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), a severe form of morning sickness marked by persistent vomiting and weight loss, in their first pregnancy may have to deal with it again in a second pregnancy. However, you can help lessen the symptoms by taking precautions before you get pregnant. Eat a very nutritious and healthy diet and take antioxidants and prenatal vitamins in the months prior to conceiving. If you do experience HG symptoms again, be sure to consult your doctor.
Preeclampsia During Second Pregnancy
Low birth weight in your first pregnancy can point to whether you will acquire preeclampsia in your subsequent pregnancies. A low birth rate notifies that you are at a greater risk in your second pregnancy. Women whose babies were born under the third percentile of birth weight were three times more likely to develop preeclampsia in later pregnancies.
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