Whatever they say about the uniqueness and struggles in pregnancy of every mother are almost always true. A third pregnancy is no exception. First off, the hype of having your first and second may have wavered off. Your body may also get accustomed to your previous childbirth and will show a bigger bump this time. Implantation bleeding may or may not occur. Morning sickness and pregnancy cravings are at their peak. And because you are older now, expect that pregnancy will change along with your age.
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Differences in the third pregnancy
During your first pregnancy, you probably have sifted through every book, magazine, and pamphlet from your OB’s clinic. You are also likely to listen to other gushing moms on their personal childbearing experiences.
On your second one, you already know what to expect. But you may still get giddy and excited about the new addition to your family.
However, on the third baby, many women report experiences that are quite different from the first two. And it does not only mean a less sensational announcement of you having a new baby. It involves some symptoms that you may miss previously.
On your third time having a baby, your body is more attuned to pregnancy changes. Thus, it can recognize its signs and symptoms earlier.
It identifies the telltale signs of pregnancy, like morning sickness, even before the hCG hormone level rise to confirm a positive. But these symptoms often vary, and some women may have them better or worse than their past pregnancies.
Back pain can become terrible in succeeding pregnancies. Your body is not the same after giving birth to a couple of babies.
While you are pregnant, your bones are at their peak state because of the high estrogen levels that ultimately repair them. However, after pregnancy, your bone density decreases a little, whether you are breastfeeding or not.
The bone loss in your previous pregnancy will restore itself, but it may affect your third. Backaches, joint pain and discomfort, and even mild sciatica pain can occur.
The nonstop demand of parenting may get on your nerve this time. Dealing with a couple of children and a new baby on the way can lead to exhaustion. Also, during your third pregnancy, you are more likely to forget to take your prenatal vitamins.
Admit it or not, this third time has eased your excitement. You no longer feel like going with the book of pregnancy care. But don’t forget about your pregnancy routine because it will help ease you out of your distress.
Bigger baby bump
During pregnancy, a woman’s uterus expands to accommodate the fetus. After childbirth, it will shrink but not return to its original size. This is why your next pregnancy will show earlier and is more pronounced. But to clear the common misconception, a bigger womb does not always mean a bigger baby.
It may partly be due to the amount of amniotic fluid, the baby’s position in the womb, or the mother’s weight gain and her posture. You also tend to carry your baby lower on the third pregnancy, contributing to more backaches.
Early movement and contractions
Your body is aware, and your nerve endings are expectant of pregnancy happenings and pains. For this reason, you will feel your baby’s movement early on and not pass it off as gas.
It will also recognize the false contractions after having experienced real contractions before. Your experiences with previous pregnancies will make your body more sensitive and attentive to the things going on inside your belly.
The good news about your third pregnancy is relatively shorter labor. That’s because the cervix and vaginal tissues are less rigid than before. Thus, it causes shorter labor and easier pushing of your third baby.
However, since the uterus has less muscle tone, postpartum pains can get worse. It is due to the contractions that intend to put the uterus back to its size.
How to help yourself on your third pregnancy
The third pregnancy can be somewhat demanding both physically and mentally. Tending your home and children while dealing with pregnancy at the same time heightens the emotional roller coaster.
Here’s how to help yourself when baby number three is on the way:
- Take your prenatal vitamins
- Do not skip prenatal check-ups
- Get help for everyday chores and childcare
- Eat nutritiously
- Keep hydrated
- Manage your back pain
- Cry and let those emotions out if you must
I feel the urge to urinate more in my subsequent pregnancies. Is this normal?
Remember how your uterus is bigger after the first pregnancy. This expanding uterus will press more into the bladder resulting in incontinence.
You can manage your frequent urge to pee by practicing Kegel exercises.
Is VBAC possible for my third pregnancy?
VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) after two C-sections is possible under strict safety guidelines. Your doctor will rule out VBAC if you have a healthy pregnancy without any underlying risks.
It includes good cephalic presentation, ideal baby weight, or if the previous reason for C-section is not an issue in this pregnancy.
I am taking care of a toddler and get some hit in the belly sometimes. Will it affect the fetus?
Light blow in the belly will not affect your unborn one. He is safely cushioned inside the womb with the shock-absorbing amniotic fluid. So, minor trauma as you wrestle with your high-spirited toddler should not bother you much.
Your previous pregnancy experience will do so much to prepare you mentally for the ordeal, but not so much with the physical pain. Trust it when they say that it is not easier on the third pregnancy.
Your body will not be the same anymore, and its cognizance will let you experience symptoms earlier than expected. Factor in your age, and you may have a lot to deal with that will throw away your expectations.
However, pregnancy and raising children in this world is a beautiful story to begin with. It is always worth all the sacrifices and pain in the name of motherhood. If this is your third pregnancy and you are here looking for answers: you are right about its difficulty. But mom, you are never alone in it.