Preparing for a Second Pregnancy
Choosing to have a second child can be a daunting experience. Whether your second pregnancy is planned or a surprise, you may feel some fear and apprehension, which are normal feelings. Luckily, you will have nine months to prepare yourself, your partner, and your first-born child. To help you determine which way is best for preparing your family for a new arrival, consider the following:
Each pregnancy can come with different experiences and complications. These differences can be due to maternal age, the gender of the baby, the seasons you are pregnant, as well as the numerous circumstances surrounding the pregnancy.
One largest difference you will face for this pregnancy is having a child to care for, instead of just worrying about yourself. Ask your partner or family to help by handling some of the day-to-day chores around your house. Make sure you take time for yourself to rest. Take naps when your child naps or is at school. Follow all of your healthcare provider’s instructions. Do not try to be wonder women; enjoy the next nine months.
Telling your partner about a second pregnancy can be an exciting task. Even if your pregnancy was not planned, try to be upbeat and excited when telling your partner. Think of a creative way to tell your partner.
Involve your partner with all decisions regarding the second baby. It can be easy to take on all of the decisions yourself, but involving your partner may help him/her to feel included in the pregnancy. Consider taking a small vacation before the baby comes. Spend time together, just the two of you, to fill your love tanks and enjoy each other before the stress, which comes with a new baby, arrives.
Discuss the care of your first child. How will you help the first child feel special after the baby comes? Who will care for the first child while you are giving birth?
Be open and honest with your feelings about the pregnancy. Talk about what sex might be like after having another baby, how you may feel with two children, and any other problems you foresee having. Discussing these things before the baby arrives may reduce the chance of hurt feelings and arguments in the heat of the moment.
Your First-born Child
Tell your child first, before telling any friends and family. This will eliminate the chance of her finding out from someone else.
Find ways to involve your child, such as making a calendar (she and you can mark off the days leading to the birth). Purchase a book or video that discusses the birth of a second child and watch or read these materials often with him. Talk about how the baby will impact your family. She may be curious about how to be involved with the new baby. Decide which tasks you are comfortable with your child completing. These tasks can be throwing diapers away, getting you supplies, reading a book to you while you’re breastfeeding, or other small tasks, depending on her age.
Make any changes regarding the new baby well in advance of the birth. For example, if you are planning on potty training your child, aim to complete this goal a few months before your due date to reduce the chances of regression. In addition, start preschool, move rooms, and take away any “baby” items, such as a pacifier or Sippy cup, well before the baby arrives. This will reduce the chances of your child blaming the new baby for these changes. Teach your child about babies, and practice being gentle with new babies by purchasing a baby doll and asking your child to care for the doll.