EN
Pregnancy

Preparing for a Second Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

article_img

The fact that you are reading this article probably means that you already have a child and are trying for a second one. While you may already have the experience of being pregnant with your firstborn, your second pregnancy may be very different. Apart from the pregnancy symptoms, you will also have to juggle your time taking care of your current child.

Read on to learn more about how to prepare and what to expect during your second pregnancy.

What Are Important Things to Consider?

To help you make an informed decision, here are some key factors to consider:

Timing

When considering a second pregnancy, most obstetricians and gynaecologists (O&G) will recommend that you wait for at least 18 months from the birth of your first child. This ensures you receive sufficient rest, your body has replenished the lost nutrients from your first pregnancy and for your reproductive organs to recover. Furthermore, it protects your fertility as well as your foetus’s health. 

A gap of fewer than 17 months may result in your second baby being born prematurely or underweight, with this risk increasing significantly as the gap becomes smaller.

Couple’s Age and Health

Your fertility rate generally decreases as you age, especially after 35, when your menstrual cycle starts to change. As such, the quantity and quality of your eggs may decrease, making pregnancy more difficult. Furthermore, there is also a higher risk of genetic defects or even miscarriages during your pregnancy. 

Apart from your age, your partner’s age also plays a crucial role when considering a second pregnancy. Pregnancy occurs through conception when a sperm cell from a man fertilises with an egg cell from a woman to form an embryo. Similar to that of women, a man’s fertility rate typically starts to decline as they age, when the quality and quantity of their sperm decreases.

Additionally, you and your partner’s general health condition should also be considered for the pregnancy to be successful and healthy. Pregnancy can take a toll on your body as it undergoes drastic changes to provide additional nutrients for your baby. As such, it is paramount to ensure that you have fully recovered from your first pregnancy and are in optimal health. Likewise, your partner should also be in excellent health as much as possible to not affect sperm quality and production.

Financial Situation

Assessing your financial situation is also another significant factor to consider when planning for a second pregnancy. It is estimated that the cost of raising a child in Singapore (up to age 18) is at least $200,000, and this is only a conservative estimate of basic necessities such as pregnancy-related costs, education, food and clothes. This cost could be higher as well, depending on lifestyle choices and inflation.

Additionally, as you will require extra time to care for your second child on top of your first child, your career and hence income may also be affected. 

As such, ensure that you are financially prepared before considering a second pregnancy.

Age Gap

When planning for a second child, the age gap between your first child and your potential second one should also be considered.

On one hand, If you wish for both your children to be playmates and share common interests, then a smaller age gap should be considered as they are likely to have similar mindsets in the same age group.

On another hand, some couples prefer to focus on each child individually and choose to wait longer before having their second child. Having a larger age gap between siblings allows the first child to better understand the impact of having a sibling and what it means to be a bigger brother or sister.   

How Is the Second Pregnancy Different From the First?

As every pregnancy is unique, a second pregnancy is not necessarily ‘easier’ than the first one.

In fact, a second pregnancy can be completely different from the first, which is true most of the time. Some of the symptoms may be the same, less or even more. There may even be new, unexpected symptoms that you may not have experienced in the first pregnancy. 

Here are some possible changes that you may experience that are different from your first pregnancy:

  • Earlier baby bumps due to the prior expansion of abdominal muscles and skin;
  • Earlier baby kicks and Braxton Hicks contractions;
  • Previous symptoms, such as morning sickness, indigestion and constipation, may manifest themselves sooner;
  • You may be more fatigued as you have to care for your first child while pregnant;
  • Back pain may present itself earlier since your stomach muscles are weaker;
  • Easier and smoother breastfeeding experience;
  • Shorter labour and delivery time.

How to Prepare for a Second Pregnancy

Similar to preparing for your first child, proper planning is everything. More specifically, ensure that you are physically healthy and mentally prepared for pregnancy.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for your second pregnancy:

  • Pre-pregnancy check-up/fertility screening. A complete medical examination allows your O&G specialist to detect any underlying health conditions and ensure that your health is optimal for pregnancy.
  • Healthy nutrition. Adopt a healthy and balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. This allows you to nourish your body in preparation for your second pregnancy.
  • Take folic acid. Folic acid is a type of vitamin B that reduces the risk of congenital disabilities such as brain or spinal cord defects. It is commonly consumed before and during the first trimester of pregnancy (first 13 weeks). The recommended intake is about 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid per day, though this may differ for each person depending on your doctor’s prescription.
  • Physical activity. Maintaining a healthy weight by engaging in moderate to vigorous exercises can improve your chances of getting pregnant and boost your fertility rate. 
  • Track your menstrual cycle and ovulation. Knowing your fertile window (ovulation period) can significantly increase your chances of conception. 

How to Prepare Your First Child

Apart from preparing yourself for the second pregnancy, it is also a good idea to talk to your first child and help them understand and accept that a new sibling is joining the family. Your first child may display a variety of emotions such as happiness, excitement or even jealousy. It is vital to involve them during the pregnancy stages so that they do not feel left out and neglected. This can include allowing them to help out with simple tasks such as decorating the room or preparing the clothes and supplies for your newborn. 

Furthermore, you should also communicate the importance of their new role as older siblings and how they can play a significant part in their younger sibling’s growth. This may excite them and prevent the development of negative emotions. 

Conclusion

A second pregnancy is typically different from the first. However, the feeling of excitement and happiness as you prepare for a second child is no less than when you gave birth to your first. 

It is important for parents to understand when and how to prepare for a second pregnancy should you wish to have another child, as pregnancy is a complex process that requires a great deal of planning. 

Speak to our dedicated team of obstetricians and gynaecologists to make a more informed decision about your second pregnancy and how you can be prepared for it. 

WHO WE ARE

About Singapore O&G Ltd

Established in 2011, Singapore O&G Ltd. (SOG) is a leading healthcare service provider dedicated towards delivering premier medical services to women’s and children’s health and wellness at affordable prices.

With a long and established track record in Singapore providing obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G) services such as pre-pregnancy counselling, delivery, pregnancy and post-delivery care, the Group has since further expanded its spectrum of healthcare services to include paediatrics, endocrinology, gynaecological cancer, cancer-related general surgery for breast, thyroid and colon (colorectal), as well as skin and aesthetics treatments.

The Group’s clinics, under its four operating segments of O&G, Paediatrics, Cancer-related and Dermatology, are strategically located throughout Singapore to provide easy access to its patients.

SOG has been listed in the Catalist board of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited since 4 June 2015.

  • Obstetrics
  • Gynaecology
  • Endocrinology
  • GynaeOncology
  • Breast, Thyroid & General Surgery
  • Colorectal, Endoscopy & General Surgery
  • Dermatology
  • Paediatrics

Consult With A Specialist From SOG

Visit one of our specialists today to learn more about your health!

Book An Appointment

Fill up this form and our clinic will get back to you shortly.