Another cute little baby. A new sibling to your other child. Both are very exciting thoughts. In this blog, we previously discussed when to have a second baby (see here and here). In this post, we assume you made the decision to go ahead and now you must start your second pregnancy planning!
Timing between pregnancies
Some couples choose to have back-to-back pregnancies, while others prefer a gap of three to four years between pregnancies. Both options have pros and cons. If you are over 35 and have fertility concerns, it’s best to plan your pregnancy relatively soon after the birth of your first child. However, you should be aware that a back-to-back pregnancy can be very challenging. Some considerations you should take into account:
- Am I healthy enough for a second pregnancy so soon after the first one?
- Will I be able to cope with two babies under the age of 3?
- Will family or friends be able to help me if I’m stuck at home with the newborn baby?
- Can I afford it financially?
- Will my employer be patient with me and keep my job until I return?
- Is there a school course I want to complete or a trip I wanted to take before a second baby arrives?
- I had a c-section with my first child, do I need to wait (at least 18 months) to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after a cesarean)?
Tips for planning your second pregnancy
- Talk to your doctor. Your physician is the best person to answer questions related to your health. He or she may suggest tests for you, including an assessment of your iron and hormonal levels. As you know, pregnancy and childbirth trigger many hormonal changes in your body. If you had a difficult first pregnancy, you doctor might advise a gap.
- Consider your financial situation. Having a second child will produce a significant impact on your finances. You need to be practical about this decision, because you will have more responsibilities and costs and you may be out of work for a while. This could strain your relationship with your partner and family members.
- Seek help from family and friends. Also, think if you may be able to arrange a babysitter or daycare for your first child. Besides the financial considerations, you have to find reliable and trustworthy help. No matter whether you will ask relatives to look at your older child or you will take your child to a professional sitter, you should plan in advance.
- Your career matters. If you are a working mom, having a second child shortly after the first one will impact on your career. Consider your career goals before making a decision.
- A second child can strain your marriage. While having one child is probably great for you and your partner, having a second one will certainly mean more work, pressure, and parental duties. All this can take a toll on your relationship with your partner, regardless of the other factors mentioned above. Therefore, it is best to have an open discussion with your partner to decide whether a new pregnancy at this time is a good idea.
- Lastly, make sure you are emotionally prepared for this big step!