Most of us have heard of the second child syndrome – but what about second baby syndrome… The Maternity Nurse Company believes it might be the first to coin the phrase but our experienced maternity nurse candidates know for sure that it’s real – so what is it like?
You don’t want to talk about your pregnancy
While first time around it was all you could think, and talk, about, this time you really want to talk about other things. Any other things – because you know that all too soon baby brain will strike and you’ll struggle to string two coherent thoughts together so you want to make the most of it while you can. And after the birth you may not have the desire to do the blow-by-blow accounts of your experience you did the first time. Many of our maternity nurses say that their clients often want to talk more about the outside world and the news than they do about the details of their birth, which is understandable – most new experiences are powerful but with second and subsequent births it can become the ‘new normal’ and not need talking about.
The bad parts feel worse than they did the first time
This can be a real problem for second time mums. One reason things feel worse is that you’ve already been through the experience so you have an idea how bad it can get and how long it will last. Another reason is that you’re older and sadly, as we age we just tend to suffer more. But third, you’ve added caring for your first child into your day, and while that’s something you love to do, it carries its own burden of tiredness and frustration, so pregnancy woes hit you harder and for longer. That’s one reason a night maternity nurse can be such a blessing, second time around, because life feels a lot easier if you’ve had a good night’s sleep.
You feel guilty
A lot of second time around mums feel a strange guilt: part of it is that getting pregnant again can feel selfish when you’ve already got one little one to care for, and part of it is often that work, family and friends all tend to go on the back burner as you adjust to pregnancy and that can cause anxiety that you’re letting people down. Finding a good balance to the various aspects of your life is vital if you’re to overcome this guilt and enjoy your second pregnancy as much as your first.
Nearly a third of the new mums we spoke to admitted that they’d done things to spoil their older child when they found out they were pregnant. This kind of overcompensation is very common and can extend to your partner too, buying them extravagant gifts and urging them to indulge hobbies and interests. It’s a natural response to getting something that you want – a pregnancy, but it’s also a result of that guilt trip we just talked about.
So – have you experienced second baby syndrome? If so, what helped?