Pregnancy / Childbirth

First and second childbirth - what are the differences?

First and second childbirth - what are the differences?

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Each delivery is different. Just as there are no two the same children and two the same women, there are no two the same births. In addition, we change over the years. Therefore, a woman who gives birth to a second child is not exactly the one from years ago.

Numerous studies confirm what has been known intuitively for a long time - it is the child who starts the labor campaign, it decides when it will be born. However, it is up to the woman what the delivery will look like - her preparation, knowledge and temperament.

Not without significance is the impact of external factors, which are beyond the control of delivery - medical care, support of loved ones. Despite these many unknowns, there are some features that usually (but not always!) Work. On their basis, we can probably suppose that the second delivery will be ...

Is the second delivery easier?

Second delivery by nature is usually easier. A woman's body has already traveled a difficult path once and knows how to react. The uterus has "its internal memory" that allows you to effectively push out the baby and improve labor. At the second delivery, there is less often an indication for an episiotomy.

Of course, it happens that the second delivery is more difficult than the first (e.g. in the case of a larger child, fatigue of the mother who, after all, has a child who is looking after at home), but generally it is more efficient.

The mother knows what to expect. He also has knowledge about what he certainly does not want and can more effectively demand respect for his rights. Equally important - it is usually taken more seriously by doctors and midwives.

Second delivery is shorter?

The second childbirth lasts on average from 4 to 6 hours (it happens that it is even shorter, it is very unlikely that it will last 10 hours or longer - as much as at the birthright)

Read - what determines how long the delivery will last.

These are of course average numbers, statistics which are not always confirmed in every case. However, it illustrates the general thesis that, in general, the second delivery is shorter.

At the second birth, the head descends later, but the process of descending the baby into the birth canal is faster. Usually, contractions get faster and the neck opening process takes less time. The bottom of the uterus muscles are more flexible, which is why they respond better to pressure from the baby's head.

Is the second delivery less stressful?

Usually we are afraid of the unknown, which is why the fear of childbirth is usually the greatest before the birth of the first child. When we have the experience of birth behind us, we are afraid of less and we are calmer.

On the other hand, the topic of delivery is so delicate that, unfortunately, there are also exceptions to this rule. It also happens that the first childbirth can be a traumatic experience, a woman can come out of it strongly "mentally disturbed", so she will be very afraid of the next childbirth.

Will you give birth to a bigger child?

There is a belief that usually the second child on the day of delivery is larger than the first. Is it true? It turns out that some statistics confirm this, but also in this case it is difficult to talk about a rule.

Of course, understandable are the fears of mothers who gave birth to a large child at the first delivery that the next scenario will repeat or that the baby will be even bigger, but the good news is that usually with very large children (over 4.5 kg on the day of delivery) the difference is small (another child is born on average about 138 grams heavier).

Premature birth

Women who give birth to their first baby prematurely usually worry that the second delivery will also happen too soon.

However, the statistics are optimistic. It is true that the risk that the scenario will happen again is greater than for a woman who gave birth to her first child on time, but still 4 out of 5 women give birth on time at the second birth. The problem is repeated in 1/5 pregnant women.

What women give birth prematurely? Read!

A milder puerperium?

Some experts also say that after the second delivery, the puerperium is usually milder, the body regenerates faster, and the young mother is less likely to suffer from depression.

What are my experiences?

I think I could be a statistical example. :) My first delivery took 12 hours, the second 4 hours. The first ended with an episiotomy, while the second did not need to be. I remember the second delivery much better than the first, the situation is similar with the puerperium - during the second delivery I got back into shape much faster.