Tips To Cope With Your Second Pregnancy
Remember that old advice – “Sleep when the baby sleeps?” Well, it still holds true! When your older child is sleeping or being cared for by others, take the opportunity to get some sleep time for yourself.
This will give you more energy and help with your physical ailments. Sherry Jimenez, resident nurse and author of The Pregnant Woman’s Comfort Guide, suggests exercising or walking for about 30 minutes a day, or if that’s too hard then 10 minute walks, three times a day. “It is not selfish to take time out to exercise,” says Joanna Hinks mother of two and expecting the third in March. “In fact if you can do some weights and strength building then it is really helpful to maintain a strong back and legs.”
• Eat healthy
Jiminez suggests “grazing throughout your day” by dividing your usual three meals into six, or snacking between meals. Keep easy, healthy food on hand and take your prenatal vitamins, and also remember to drink lots of water.
• Watch your back
If you need to pick up your older child, make sure you bend with your knees and then push up with your legs when picking her up. Avoid heavy lifting or arching your back. When standing, keep the muscles in your lower back relaxed by bending your knees. When resting, lie on your side with a pillow between your legs or one or both knees bent. If you’ll be sitting for a while, relieve some of the pressure on your lower spine by resting your feet on a low stool, advises Robin Elise Weiss, childbirth and postpartum educator, lactation counselor and author of “The Second Time Around”.
• Encourage your older child to become more independent
Zoe Ferrie, mother of four, suggests teaching your child to do things for herself as much as possible. “That comes with age when they are ready, but you can make things easier for yourself like buying shoes with Velcro for your child and not laces to avoid always bending over,” suggests Ferrie.
• Get help
Get all the help you can – a maid, nanny, putting the older child in a nursery and taking up family members’ offers of assistance. Tara Turk, mother of two, advises, “Put the older one in a nursery at least a few months before the baby arrives. That way the child won’t feel like it was the baby that made him go to nursery and took mommy’s attention away.”
• Prepare for the baby
Wash or buy baby clothes, get the baby’s room ready, pack the hospital bag and so on, well in advance to avoid extra fatigue and sleeplessness right before the baby is due, says Ferrie. Rosa Pascuito, a mother of four, advises preparing an emergency plan for watching the kids when you go into labor.
• Don’t mind the bump
“Don’t worry too much about people telling you how huge your belly is,” advises Pascuito. “Sometimes people just focus on the belly, forgetting about the baby that is inside.”
• Try not to worry
Don’t feel guilty if you are distracted from your excitement about being pregnant. You’ll have plenty of time to bond with your new baby after the birth.
• Know that you and your older child will adjust
While there may be a few rough patches during the early weeks and months of your new baby’s life, you and your older child will undoubtedly adjust.
• Attend childbirth classes
You might want to consider attending a childbirth class that would help prepare you for the delivery. Many mothers actually learn more in their second pregnancy because “they are open to more possibilities, knowing that labor wasn’t a predictable course,” says Weiss. Attending childbirth classes may also give you a chance to spend time with your husband and focus on your pregnancy.
Your second pregnancy definitely more exhausting, both physically and emotionally, but it also means that you are on your way to becoming a bigger family. If you thought the aches and pains of the first pregnancy were worth it, just wait and see how incredibly rewarding it is to see your baby smiling up at their sibling with that marvel and wonder that only a baby brother or sister can have for an older sibling!
Read also: Pregnancy Number TWO!
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