1. Your labor will go faster
While first labors usually last an average of 18 hours, second labors tend to clock in much shorter, with an average of about 8 hours. Certainly this will vary from woman to woman, but most do experience a faster birth the second time around.
Once you’ve given birth, your muscles and ligaments will sort of relax into the process more readily, since everything has been stretched already, so the baby will move down more easily. Your cervix will also dilate (open) faster.
2. Pushing is usually faster too
The muscles and ligaments in your pelvis and vagina have already done the work of making room for and pushing out a baby, so the second time generally goes much faster. This varies too, but first time moms can push anywhere between 20 minutes and 3 hours, while second time moms are usually done within an hour (often even faster).
And, learning how to push can be a little awkward at first. But second time moms already know how to do it, so they will push more effectively from the get-go.
3. You may go into labor sooner
Your baby’s due date is at the 40 week mark of pregnancy. You’ve probably heard by now that your baby’s due date is just an estimate based on the first day of your last period. The average first mom will give birth at 41 weeks and 3 days (10 days late).
Second time moms’ average delivery date is 40 weeks and 3 days—that is an entire week earlier!
Because your body has already gone through labor, it’s likely that it will respond to the labor hormones a little faster this time around, sending you into labor sooner.
Waiting for the baby to come never gets easier though. If you’re at your due date and want try try to get things going, here are some ideas. But as you know, once it starts there is no turning back, so try to enjoy these last moments as a mama of one!
4. You might feel more crampy postpartum this time around
Many women experience cramping for the first three to five days when they breastfeed. When the baby latches, your body releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps you fall in love with your baby, but also makes your uterus cramp in order to stop the bleeding, and to shrink back down to its pre-pregnancy size.
Psst: Check out our 4th Trimester Class for more postpartum recovery tips.
5. You’ll feel more confident—in birth and motherhood
Even though your second birth will be different than your first, you have been through the process, and know a bit more about what to expect. You’ll trust that your body can do it, and above all, you know what you get out of it all—the sweetest little reward ever.
And, you have already been rocking motherhood. Many moms find that they enjoy motherhood even more the second time around, because they worry less and trust themselves more.
You’ve got this, mama!
Psst: Check out our Refresher Birth Class for repeat mamas!