Does it feel like your second baby is bigger than your first? No, it’s not in your imagination.
Most expectant moms are proud of their bumps. Even so, if the cute little tummy you had during your first pregnancy is now a distant memory, you might be wondering why. We have the answers as to why you carry bigger during your second pregnancy.
You started out a little bigger with your second pregnancy
Even if you were able to slip back into your favourite jeans from your pre-pregnancy days, the reality is that your uterus never quite went back to its original size, which is why most second pregnancies start to show a lot earlier – since those muscles are looser, they’re not quite as good as hugging in the baby.
Your ligaments and muscles have stretched
Let’s not kid, pregnancy is hard on the body. Even if you loved having two heartbeats, there’s a lot of changes taking place that are allowing you to accommodate a full-size human being (even a baby one). Your body has to do a lot of shifting and stretching and regular Pilates or yoga mean your glutes look fab on the outside, but there’s little you can do to pull those internal ligaments back into shape. It’s almost like, having done this once, they know exactly what to do this time around. This is also why you may feel a little achier with your second. Your body may be a little more receptive to the hormone responsible for loosening those ligaments (relaxin), so your baby sits a little lower in your tummy.
The baby might be bigger with your second pregnancy
Second babies are sometimes slightly heavier than their siblings. While a few extra grams obviously shouldn’t have too much effect on your own tummy, it may explain why you feel generally bigger.
Your body is more adept at storing fat
You may not like it, but storing fat is actually an evolutionary mechanism to make sure your baby has enough nutrients to grow. Since your body has already done it once, it’s poised to do it again. And if you haven’t lost the weight from your first pregnancy (and, let’s be honest, it happens), you might well find this to be the case.
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.