Pregnancy/Maternity

Having another baby after a difficult pregnancy

Pregnancy is supposed to be a moment of pure happiness but when the reality is quite different, you may feel unsettled, disappointed and even apprehensive about trying for a second child.

Some women have the perfect pregnancy. They are radiating from the first month until delivery and everything goes along their plans. But for many more women, pregnancy can leave us with a bitter taste in our mouths, for various reasons, and even start to make us doubt about wanting to expand the family.

Pregnancy: Not always roses and rainbows

Indeed it’s often thought that pregnancy will inevitably bring happiness since we’ve been dreaming about it for so long. We’ve heard about the nausea, the hormones and the fatigue but until we’ve actually experienced it, we really can’t know what to expect. We know that all these common irritants of pregnancy come in different levels for different women and it is possible that you have (unfortunately) won the lottery of unpleasant symptoms that never end.

And then sometimes, for reasons out of our control, complications can develop during the pregnancy, creating an intolerable amount of pain and discomfort or even additional concerns for your safety and your baby’s well-being. These concerns and fears add to the plethora of other symptoms that can ultimately make us regret our pregnancy. But is it possible to regain confidence and be better prepared for the second pregnancy?

Expectations

If you still have mixed feelings over your first pregnancy and you feel reluctant to add to the family even though you always wanted to have a big family, it’s important not to let those emotions overwhelm you. With time, you will eventually learn to let go, and expressing your fears and concerns with someone you trust or a health profession can help you get better as explained by Valery Annie Gaudreault, birth coach and certified trainer for Mère & Monde: “I think it’s important to talk about what happened rapidly with the mother. This process will take time and it’s important not to skip any steps. This will help the mother understand what happened and make peace with the events and how she felt about them. Depending on why the pregnancy was difficult, it can help women be better prepared for a future pregnancy as well.”

No pregnancy is the same

If you suffered from an ailment during your last pregnancy; gestational diabetes or preeclampsia for example, it is normal that you would rather not go through those difficult symptoms a second time. Fortunately, as Valéry Annie Gaudreault reassures us, each pregnancy is unique and a difficult first pregnancy does not destine you to a next pregnancy that is just as challenging: “Not necessarily! Of course, it depends on the reasons that led to the difficult pregnancy. In cases like preeclampsia, the risk or recurrence is about 10 %. For this and for other ailments, like gestational diabetes, there are preventive solutions that can help significantly reduce the risk of the mother getting the ailment again. Natural solutions like lifestyle assessment and changes. Sometimes there are also medical solutions in the detection and treatment of certain pre-existing conditions that could potentially lead to problems, like in the case of a woman who has had multiple miscarriages.”

Take no chances

If your memories of your first pregnancy are still unpleasant, try to remember that the wealth of experience you’ve acquired will by default make you more prepared for the next round. Indeed, we must never neglect our experience which we can use to guide us as Valéry Annie Gaudreault suggests: “When you know a little bit about what is coming, you can do everything in your power to improve your lifestyle habits and ensure you have adequate monitoring by health professionals to ensure that the pregnancy will go better. For problems with your sciatic nerve for example, you can get treatments with a chiropractor or osteopath to manage the problem better. This will relieve symptoms but it can also make the difference in how you experience your pregnancy. In other cases, a birth doula, a psychologist or even a support group can help women with specific issues. To find resources in your area, moms can look up their local CLSC.”

Include your other children!

Another great way to help you prepare for this next pregnancy and the future arrival of another child is to share the positive – and negative – moments with the ones you love. Share all the important milestones with your other children, take the opportunity to make them feel included in the preparations so they feel like they’re part of the adventure.

Sources : Hélène Vadeboncoeur – Guérir d’un accouchement difficile, Mère & Monde – Seconde grossesse.

Collaboration : Valéry Annie Gaudreault, Certified birth coach, naturopath and trainer at Mère et Monde.

Image de Mariem Melainine

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