If you are currently or expecting to get pregnant with your second child, you may wonder how it will differ from your first pregnancy. When it comes to your second pregnancy symptoms, you might find yourself wondering most of the time if it comes in earlier, is more intense, or is nothing compared to your first pregnancy.
Compared to your first pregnancy, you will likely feel the symptoms earlier during your second pregnancy. You already know how to identify pregnancy-specific aches and ailments like breast tenderness, tiredness, and morning sickness, so you’re more likely to take note of them. However, every pregnancy is different and yours may vary greatly.
Read along as we discuss everything related to your second pregnancy symptoms and what to expect during your second pregnancy.
When do second pregnancy symptoms start?
Most women don’t realize they’re pregnant until after their first missed period, so any early symptoms you felt with your first pregnancy were probably misidentified as isolated pains.
During your second pregnancy, you will feel symptoms earlier because this is not your first rodeo, and know the symptoms by now. Some women start feeling symptoms as early as 1-2 weeks after conception because their breasts feel sore.
Your baby bump will also start showing earlier during the second pregnancy because your abdominal muscles are already stretched out. Some women start showing as early as 5 weeks which is barely the time that you are just finding out that you are pregnant.
It goes without saying that feeling early or more intense symptoms should not be a cause of concern. This is part of the course and is considered normal especially during your second pregnancy.
Do pregnancy symptoms start earlier with the second pregnancy?
It is very common to feel symptoms earlier during your second pregnancy.
You are likely to recognize the feeling of pregnancy earlier this time around since you are already familiar with the early symptoms because of your first pregnancy.
Symptoms that you might be feeling earlier this time around include morning sickness, nausea, fatigue, and breast tenderness.
Morning Sickness and Nausea
Morning sickness can affect 70-80 percent of pregnant women, regardless of how many pregnancies they’ve had.
Nausea and morning sickness will start earlier during your second pregnancy. Most women during their second pregnancy know this feeling all too well and take it as a sign to undergo a pregnancy test to confirm their suspicion.
Morning sickness can come and go and will be strongest during the first trimester as your hormones try settling in with the pregnancy. Some women experience morning sickness all throughout their pregnancy and might even throw up white foam.
If you are experiencing extreme morning sickness and can’t keep anything down, you can contact your doctor to make sure you are getting the right advice that will keep you and your baby safe.
When you are a mom, it is easy to feel tired all the time but the tiredness that comes with being pregnant is completely different from the normal tiredness that you might be feeling just by running around with your growing firstborn.
Early symptoms of your second pregnancy will include extreme fatigue. Do you ever get the feeling that you just have to lie down and take a nap because you are so tired? Pregnant women who are expecting their second child can easily chalk it up to just being plain tired and it is sometimes hard to find the time to rest especially if you have a baby or a toddler.
It is important to get proper rest especially if you are expecting again.
If this is your second pregnancy, you will be familiar with breast tenderness.
Oftentimes, women know that they are pregnant just because of this symptom alone. Breast tenderness can happen as early as 1-2 weeks after conception which makes it a super early symptom for pregnancy.
Breast tenderness is a result of the different hormones that are overactive like estrogen and progesterone and is normal.
Feeling baby movements
During your first pregnancy, it is easy to second guess the baby’s early movements to other things like gas and bloating.
Now that you know what it feels like, you will feel (and be able to identify) your baby’s movements earlier during your second pregnancy.
Lower fetal position
Because of your weakened abdominal muscles from your first pregnancy, it is normal for your baby bump to be lower during the second pregnancy.
The fetus is more likely lower during this time which is a great thing because it will make you breathe easier. The main downside to this occurrence is that since your baby is lying low, you will feel more pressure on your bladder which equates to more frequent trips to the bathroom.
Body aches and pains
If you are running after your first-born baby or toddler, your body will feel more tired and sore. These aches and pains will be more compounded as you go through your second pregnancy.
One of the hormones that are released by your placenta and ovaries is called Relaxin, which is the hormone that makes your ligaments relax and soften your cervix in preparation for childbirth. Because your ligaments are looser, you will experience more back pain earlier in your second pregnancy.
Being pregnant should be considered a full-time job and is not an easy feat especially if this is your second child. It is important to still find time to rest and find time for yourself. Pregnancy is a marathon and not a sprint, so it is beneficial for moms to also relax during their second pregnancy.
Can you show early in the second pregnancy?
Showing early during your second pregnancy is a normal occurrence and most women will say that they showed earlier in their second pregnancy compared to the first one.
This can be attributed to your stomach and abdominal muscles being stretched by your first pregnancy. Since the muscles are stretched, your baby bump will be more prominent the second time around.
Showing early is normal and is not an indication that your baby is bigger than your first one. As long as you are keeping up with regular checkups with your doctor, you have nothing to worry about.
Does the second pregnancy feel different?
It is safe to say that no two pregnancies are the same.
It is normal to feel the same symptoms with your first and second pregnancies but the main difference is you will feel the symptoms sooner because you now know what to expect.
It is common for symptoms to show early during your second pregnancy and should not be a cause of concern. Symptoms like fatigue, breast soreness and even feeling the baby move are all normal and you might feel this even before you can confirm you are pregnant.
Are second pregnancy symptoms different from the first pregnancy?
You can expect the symptoms you felt during your first pregnancy to be repeated during your second pregnancy. The main difference is that you will feel these symptoms earlier because this is not your first rodeo.
When it comes to medical symptoms or conditions that you underwent from your first pregnancy, these conditions are highly likely to occur during your second pregnancy.
Additionally, complications that you experienced during your first pregnancy have a higher probability of happening again during your second one. As always, it is important to talk to your doctor about your concerns.
Here are some of the common medical conditions that you have to look out for:
- High blood pressure – If you experienced high blood pressure during your first pregnancy, your doctor might want to monitor your blood pressure more regularly the second time around because there is a high probability that this will happen again. You should have regular checkups with your doctor and get advice on how to control your blood pressure.
- Preeclampsia – This blood pressure disorder usually occurs during the second and third trimesters. It is extremely uncommon and can only affect less than 5% of pregnancies but once you’ve had it during your first pregnancy, the chances of getting it again are higher.
- Varicose veins – Pregnant women who had varicose veins during their first pregnancy will more likely see another episode of this during their second one. Because the veins were stressed during the first one, it is more likely that they will be more vulnerable during your second pregnancy. To avoid getting varicose veins, pregnant women should avoid gaining too much weight than the recommended weight gain, exercise more frequently, and elevate their legs.
What are the symptoms of a second pregnancy after a C-section?
It is completely normal to feel early pregnancy symptoms in your second pregnancy compared to your first one.
If you had a C-section delivery during your first pregnancy, chances are you will feel pain around the incision because there is scar tissue that has formed around your C-section scar. This can cause some normal pain during your second pregnancy because your belly bump is getting bigger and in turn, your scar tissue is also expanding.
If you are feeling pain that doesn’t go away or you have severe pain around the incision area, you must see your doctor right away to eliminate any complications.
Do babies come earlier in a second pregnancy?
There is a reason why they call birthing a baby “labor” and it’s because it is hard work!
If this is your second pregnancy, chances are you felt symptoms earlier and sooner compared to your first one and that is completely normal. You might even have worse symptoms compared to your first one and that’s fine too!
The upside when it comes to delivery the second time around is that it happens faster. This is because your body has already gone through this before and it naturally knows what to do as opposed to the first time where everything is new.
Generally speaking, first labor usually lasts 18 to 24 hours and the second time usually comes in about 8 hours which is much shorter than the first pregnancy.
Do breasts hurt during a second pregnancy?
Breast tenderness is one of the tell-tale signs that you’re pregnant and if this is your second pregnancy, there is a possibility that you will feel soreness around 1-2 weeks after conception.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, breast tenderness during pregnancy can be caused by the surging of estrogen and progesterone. Furthermore, it can also be caused by your body getting ready for lactation and breastfeeding.
Do breasts grow during a second pregnancy?
Showing early symptoms during your second pregnancy is completely normal and should not be a cause of concern as long as you are going to your doctor for regular checkups.
One of the symptoms that you might be experiencing is growing breasts. Growing breasts or fuller-looking breasts are normal during your second pregnancy.
Your breasts will get bigger around weeks 6 to 8 and can grow up to two cup sizes.
Do you cramp more during second pregnancy?
It is completely normal to feel early and more intense symptoms during your second pregnancy compared to the first one.
One of the common symptoms that are common with any pregnancy is cramping.
Cramping during pregnancy can occur during your second trimester. This is caused by your round ligament stretching as your belly bump gets bigger.
Cramps are normal and should not be a cause of concern but if you are having severe cramping that doesn’t go away, you should contact your doctor.
Does hCG rise faster with second pregnancy?
HCG levels are used to determine if a woman is pregnant through a urine test.
There are no definitive findings or studies that state that the hCG levels rise faster during your second pregnancy.
High hCG levels can be attributed to carrying multiples while low levels or decreasing levels might indicate loss of a pregnancy or a high risk of miscarriage.
Is pregnancy worse the second time?
There are no two pregnancies that are the same. Even a woman who has been pregnant multiple times can have different types of pregnancies.
It is common for women to have a better time during their second pregnancy because they already know what to expect and how their body reacts to the pregnancy.
The main downside is that if this is your second pregnancy, you already have a little one that you are caring for which makes you more tired all the time. If your first pregnancy had complications like high blood pressure or preeclampsia, you will likely experience the same thing during your second pregnancy.
As long as you are taking care of yourself and finding time to rest even though mom-life is extremely busy, experiencing early or more intense symptoms should not be a cause of concern.
If you have symptoms that are causing severe pain, it is important to reach out to your doctor for advice.
By the way, I’ve put together a MEGA resource on the most common differences between the first and second pregnancy along with frequently asked questions! Check it out!