Weight Gain in Your Second Pregnancy

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Congrats Mama! You’re pregnant for the second time! That means your first little one was so wonderful you just had to give it another try!

A million things are running through your brain right now but one very common concern (with not just second-time moms!) is additional weight gain.

During your second pregnancy, you’ll realize that there are many different things about this pregnancy than your first pregnancy. Actually, every pregnancy is different from the other!

However, the amount of weight you put on throughout your second pregnancy will be quite different from how it was the first time. In addition to gaining more weight faster, you will also start showing sooner.

During your first pregnancy, the weight gain process could be slow, and your body may have been more fit, than the second time around.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, you’re likely to gain the same amount of weight in your second pregnancy as you did the first time.

However, if you didn’t shed the extra pounds between pregnancies, you’ll gain more weight in total because you’re beginning pregnancy at a higher starting point. Once you have had a baby, it is difficult for you to lose all those extra pounds. Your body also takes much longer to get back in shape, especially to your pre-pregnancy shape!

If you have conceived in a short gap after having your first baby, it is likely that your body did not have enough time to shed the excess weight you gained during the first pregnancy.

Pregnancy also affects you in many ways, and one of the biggest changes it does is to your hormones. Your hormones, as well as your metabolism, go through many changes during your pregnancy. At the time of your second pregnancy, your body will have already experienced many changes that can pile on the pounds faster and make it difficult to lose weight.

Additionally, once you have the first pregnancy, your uterus never shrinks back to its previous size. As a result, your belly starts growing faster and even shows faster than the first time, making you look bigger sooner than before. Pregnancy stretches the muscles of your abdomen, making them weak. During your first pregnancy, your friends or family may not have realized that you could be pregnant until your bump would have started showing up and is prominent (15 weeks above). But in case of your second pregnancy, your belly would show up very early (between 12-15 weeks). The reason can be that the uterus does not go back to its normal shape after giving birth to the first child which means, when you are pregnant for the second time, it stretches faster. As a result, your abdomen is not able to support your baby well the second time, which causes your fetus to move lower into the abdomen. This will not harm your baby in any way; the baby will be safe. But your baby being in this position could be both advantageous and disadvantageous for you. If your baby is placed lower, it will mean that you will have less difficulty in breathing and eating, as compared to your first time but it will increase the urination frequency. This could be due to pressure on the pelvic area and bladder.

While you probably won’t gain more weight than you did with baby number one, you might feel a whole lot bigger.

Another important point is that how much fat you gain may not affect the size of your baby. Total weight gain does correlate with the baby’s eventual size; fat gain does not. Greater water and protein gain in the placenta, uterus, and amniotic fluid all predict a bigger baby. More fat mass in your thighs, breasts, and stomach does not. There is no evidence that eating past hunger leads to bigger, healthier babies. Instead, these studies suggest that the arrow of causation goes in the opposite direction–healthy babies tend to promote greater weight gain.

Ultimately the real goal is a healthy baby and a healthy Mama!

It is very important to eat when you are hungry and allow yourself enough nutrients to feed yourself and your baby-to-be.

Shoshi W.
Shoshi is an undergraduate student at Stern College for Women in New York City. Her areas of interest include policy, non-profit organizations, and administration. During winter 2018, she was a White House intern. Shoshi has also interned at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and at Save the Children in New York. As a millennial, Shoshi brings a young and fresh perspective to the worlds of pregnancy and lactation.

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