Every pregnancy is different, and you may experience symptoms during this pregnancy that you didn’t experience in a previous pregnancy. This is completely normal. Please look at the common pregnancy symptoms.

At your booking appointment your midwife will be able to tell you whether you will be on the midwife-led pathway or under consultant care. If you have had a baby before you will have slightly fewer appointments this time for routine care. However, if you are under consultant-led care you will have additional appointments at the hospital with the obstetric team.

  • You may feel more nervous about how a new baby will fit into your family, and about spending less time with your other child/children

  • You may feel tired easily, especially as you are looking after your child/toddler this pregnancy, so you don’t have as much time to relax

  • Your bump may get bigger sooner, as your stomach muscles were stretched in your first pregnancy – this allows them to stretch more easily in subsequent pregnancies

  • You may feel your baby move earlier then you did in your first pregnancy, as you know what to look for this time

  • You may experience more Braxton Hicks and these may start earlier than they did in your first pregnancy

  • Your labour and birth may be quicker this time. If you had a vaginal birth last time, it is likely that the first stage and second stage of labour will be quicker this time around

  • You might have had a difficult labour last time and be struggling with anxiety about the birth

If your previous birth experiences are causing nerves or anxiety about this pregnancy and birth, make sure you speak to your midwife. They can refer you for extra support, such as counselling, or to the Birth Choices clinic at University Hospitals Dorset in Poole or at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester.

A healthy lifestyle and weight will benefit your pregnancy and get you in the best health for labour. Have a look at our section on looking after yourself and bump. LiveWell Dorset also has lots of great information and support to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Second and subsequent pregnancies can be more tiring, as you are caring for your child/children as well as coping with a pregnancy. Asking family or friends to help you with chores or give you a short break can really help. It’s surprising how beneficial an uninterrupted bath or cup of tea can be! If you have teenagers, allocating a few chores can help. Make it a fun thing for them, for example text them every Monday with a list for the week and a fun reward for their help.

Getting enough rest and sleep can be difficult when you already have children, so try to change your routines to achieve this when possible. If your baby/toddler has a sleep, try to sit or sleep at the same time. If you are working and usually do chores in the evening, space them out a bit more and delegate if you can. Extra rest and relaxation for you helps to maintain a healthy pregnancy.

More information on pregnancy is available at NHS UK.