Differences in First Pregnancy & Fourth Pregnancy
Regardless of how many times a woman is pregnant, some things never change. The uterus stretches each time, bringing with it a host of small discomforts. Increasing body weight and weight distribution stress a woman’s back and joints, affecting her posture and often leading to back pain. There are, however, some notable differences between a first pregnancy and a fourth, most of which are simply factors of a woman becoming more physically and psychologically accustomed to the changes of pregnancy.
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One of the most noticeable differences between a first-time mom and a woman who has had several babies is that first timers tend to show less and show later than more experienced moms. The reason for this is that the first time a woman becomes pregnant, her uterus and abdominal muscles are quite tight. As the uterus stretches, it moves out of the pelvis and into the abdomen, Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel explain in their book, “What To Expect When You’re Expecting.” This begins to stretch the abdominals, which eventually loosen and allow the stomach to protrude. Typically, women start to show earlier with each subsequent pregnancy, meaning that a fourth-time mom might show as early as the ninth or 10th week of pregnancy.
Some of the symptoms of pregnancy are different for very experienced moms. For instance, because more experienced moms know what to look for, they tend to notice pregnancy earlier than women who are pregnant for the first time, according to Dr. Raymond Poliakin author of “What You Didn’t Think to Ask Your Obstetrician.” They’re familiar with their symptoms and recognize them for what they are rather than mistaking them for an illness or an approaching period. Further, notes Poliakin, first-time moms may feel a baby move for several weeks before recognizing it as something other than gas. Fourth-time moms, being far more experienced in the sensations of pregnancy, recognize their babies’ movements many weeks earlier; some may even note movement as early as the 17th or 18th week.
One of the major differences between a woman’s first pregnancy and her fourth is her age during the pregnancy. Because a woman is at least four years older during her fourth pregnancy, her likelihood of twins is higher than it was during her first. In their book, “Hands Off My Belly,” Dr. Shawn Tassone and Dr. Kathryn Landherr explain that a woman’s likelihood of twins increases with age, because older ovaries are more likely to allow two or more eggs to mature. Further, older women have a higher risk of giving birth to babies with chromosomal abnormalities, making genetic testing increasingly advisable in a fourth pregnancy as compared with a first.
The type of delivery a woman experiences with her first pregnancy doesn’t necessarily affect the way her subsequent deliveries will go, despite the common misconception to the contrary. Increasingly, women who have had C-sections with a first child go on to give birth vaginally, particularly with advancements in incision placement, note Drs. Tassone and Landherr. Further, each baby is different, and baby size and placement significantly affect the labor experience, meaning that a woman who had a very difficult labor the first time may be in for a much easier time later on, or vice versa. Typically, however, labors are shorter during each subsequent pregnancy, meaning that fourth pregnancy labors may be quite efficient.
In general, many women benefit from additional emotional security during pregnancies in which they are experienced mothers. Murkoff and Mazel note that the emotional stress of a first pregnancy can be quite severe and stems from a woman’s sense of life change, fear of the unknown and nervousness about the pain of labor and delivery. Fourth-time moms know what pregnancy feels like, and they know what to expect during labor. They’re comfortable with how to care for a newborn, and their methods of parenting are well established, giving them the ability to simply relax and enjoy the pregnancy.
Abdominal pain in pregnancy
In this article
Is it normal to feel abdominal pain in pregnancy?
How can I ease pregnancy abdominal pain?
- Lie down on the side opposite to the pain.
- Have a warm bath.
- Use a hot water bottle or wheat bag on the painful areas.
- Get in the habit of standing up and sitting down more gradually, avoiding sudden movements. This may help to decrease the spasms. (Aguilera 2015)
Doing gentle stretching exercises, such as yoga, may help. Yoga is suitable once you’re through the first trimester. Ask your midwife about antenatal exercise classes in your area.
What causes abdominal pain in pregnancy?
- blood in your wee, or pain or burning when you wee
- unusual vaginal discharge
- spotting or bleeding
- tenderness and pain
- chills (Kilpatrick and Orejuela 2017)
Sometimes, your abdominal pain could be a sign of something that’s not related to pregnancy. Appendicitis, an ovarian cyst, kidney problems, a urinary tract infection (UTI), or gall bladder problem can all cause abdominal pain (BMJ 2016, Kilpatrick and Orejuela 2017) .
When is abdominal pain a worry in the first trimester?
- pain in your lower abdomen, which may be just on one side
- vaginal bleeding or spotting, which may be darker than your normal period (RCOG 2016b)
Go to A&E immediately if you’re experiencing all of the following symptoms:
New Health Guide
Pregnancy is a physiologic transition that brings a lot of emotions and different feelings in the expecting mommies. However, the emotions of anxiety and stress usually overshadow the feelings of happiness and excitement in women who are becoming pregnant for the first time and that’s why we have devised this week to week guide for you so that you can know with precision what’s happening inside your body, what symptoms will you experience during the first week of pregnancy, how is your baby developing and what cautions you must take for a safer pregnancy.
Pregnancy at First Week
Symptoms and Body Changes
Most females donвЂ™t even realize that they may become pregnant during this week or by next cycle. Moreover, little is known about the actual time of conception and for this reason, healthcare providers typically count the conception from your last cycle. It may sound surprising but in clinical terms, your pregnancy is evaluated before the conception even occurs. So according to this calculation, during the first 2 weeks of pregnancy, the egg may not be fertilized yet.
The development of baby hasnвЂ™t yet begun. During first week, maternal hormonal level rises and helps in maturation of a bunch of eggs (also known as follicles). During this maturation process, one egg grow slightly more than other eggs and is known as graafian follicle. This later ovulates and fuses with sperm to form the zygote.
However, if we calculate the pregnancy starting from the actual day of conception, not from your last cycle (as doctors do), during the first week (which corresponds roughly to week four of pregnancy), no noticeable physical symptoms will take place. However, you will experience some internal changes such as digestive problems like constipation, gas and nausea. Other signs include fatigue, tender breasts, mood swings and morning sickness. Again, some may feel the symptoms and body changes, others will not.
Notes and Tips
It is always recommended to book your appointment with your healthcare professional to get a preliminary evaluation of your physical health (in terms of your weight, medical conditions) before getting pregnant. Healthcare providers also suggest booking a pre conception appointment with a gynecologist or obstetrician to discuss in detail about any personal or family history that may influence pregnancy or health of your baby. Likewise speak to your doctor regarding incorporating healthy habits and lifestyle changes that may help in optimizing your health and well being of your child. Most importantly, you should start taking 400 microgram or 0.4 mg of folic acid even before you conceive. Folic acid supplementation helps in minimizing the risk of neural tube defects.
Symptoms of Pregnancy at Weeks 2, 3 and 4
During the second week, your body temperature levels, estrogen levels, and hormone levels are rising. Also the endometrium level in the uterus is increasing to nourish the baby. You also begin to develop a strong immune system, as well as developing circular group(s) of lymphoids. ItвЂ™s likely for you to feel a вЂone-sidedвЂ™ pain, as the ovaries are growing and ripening an egg for ovulation. The uterine line is thickening and this is when a woman is most fertile for conception.
This is the week when conception takes place (sperm fuse the egg) and zygote divides successively to give rise to your baby some 37 weeks later. As per your pregnancy related symptoms, you may not experience any symptoms during this week (but it is time to prepare yourself mentally for a long period of surprises- obviously some may be pleasant while other not as pleasant). 3 rd week of pregnancy corresponds to a week prior to your expected menstrual cycle.
The development of baby is still in very primitive stages; however major development is expected in coming weeks. Your baby is just a 2-celled structure that will undergo extensive division due to cell multiplication to form 4-called and 8- called structure and eventually a 100- celled structure before the zygote (product of sperm and egg) is implanted into endometrial lining.
Some women are very anxious (especially those who are planning a pregnancy. If you are also anxious to know the results, try out home – pregnancy tests (the results are as precise as the tests conducted in the doctorвЂ™s office or laboratory). Make sure to follow the instruction as is in order to find out precisely about the status.
You will not experience the classic pregnancy symptoms like nausea, vomiting or dizziness during this week; however, some non specific symptoms that may suggest early pregnancy are increased frequency of urination, mood swings, gas, abdominal tenderness, constipation, dyspepsia and dizziness.
This is the time where implantation begins (the zygote вЂ“ that has been growing at a very rapid pace) erode the walls of endometrium to prevent itself from trauma or damage. The thick walls of endometrium acts as a cushion or shock absorber.
The growth of the zygote helps in the formation of two cell layers (the outer cell layers form the future placenta вЂ“ the source of attachment of the baby to maternal body to get nourishment and nutrition, while the inner cell layer forms the baby).
This is the time when you should start making a conscious effort in trying to eat healthy and pay extra attention to your overall well-being. This includes healthy foods that are balanced and contain all essential nutrients. Speak to your healthcare provider regarding any nutritional supplements (especially Folic acid, Calcium, iron and Vitamin B12 supplements). In addition, you need at least 300 extra calories in your diet than non-pregnant state (speak to a nutritionist to seek advice in the formulation of a diet and calorie chart).
Maintain healthy lifestyle and if you are a social or habitual smoker or alcohol consumer, make sure to maintain total abstinence in order to minimize the risk of fetal anomalies.
End of First Month
Towards the end of first month, your baby is still very small (but it managed to grow from the size of a pin-head to about the size of a rice grain (corresponds to Вј of an inch). Moreover, your baby has a vague demarcation of face (that shows poorly defined but distinct spots for future eyes, nose and oral cavity. Systemic formation and functioning has not yet started but in the beginning of next week, the development of circulatory system usually starts.
Here is a video that may help you in further understanding more about the first month of pregnancy in detail:
First Trimester Pregnancy Pains: When to Call Your Doctor
Becki Rizzuti has had four natural pregnancies and childbirths. She is an advocate of natural pregnancy and natural birth.
Is Pain Normal During the First Trimester of Pregnancy?
The short order is yes. Mostly, the pain that you may experience during early pregnancy is natural and comes with the territory, but there are some kinds of pain that may be concerning. The purpose of this article is to address your concerns about pain you are experiencing, and to help you to know when you need to see a doctor.
While I am not a doctor myself, I have carried and birthed four children, and I consider myself qualified to provide advice on the subject of being pregnant. Though my goal is to reassure mothers (first-time mothers in particular) that those pains are usually natural and normal, the only way to be sure is to consult your doctor.
This article is a guide to knowing what’s normal and what’s not, and the best ways to deal with the normal early pregnancy aches and pains. I’ll guide you through the most natural types of pain you may experience early on, as well as some which require a doctor’s attention.
Please note that I am not a medical professional. Always talk to your doctor about any pain you experience. This advice is based on my experience through four pregnancies.
Which Early Pregnancy Pain Is Normal and Which Is a Something to Worry About?
In some ways, the first trimester of pregnancy is the “riskiest.” Although it is true that the loss of a pregnancy is most likely during the first three months, I’m here to reassure you that most of the aches and pains you experience are natural and normal.
Before I proceed, however, I want to make it clear that miscarriage is a risk of early pregnancy, and so you should contact your doctor if you are concerned about pain that you feel. Any pain which is sharp or which is accompanied by bleeding should prompt a call to your doctor, and possibly a visit to be examined.
Particularly if you’re a first-time mother, you should contact your doctor when you experience pain during your pregnancy. In most cases, your doctor is going to reassure you. However, if you are experiencing the following, you should consider seeing a doctor immediately via an urgent care facility or your local women’s hospital.
- Cramping with bleeding
- Severe leg pain
- Inability to keep foods down due to nausea
- Pain during urination
If you have additional symptoms accompanying what may otherwise be a normal pain, contact your doctor immediately. Aside from the obvious risk of miscarriage, or chemical or ectopic pregnancy, another risk you need to be warned of is a urinary tract infection. A simple urine test can confirm a UTI and you will be prescribed a pregnancy-safe antibiotic.
Normal vs. Worrisome Pregnancy Pains in First Trimester
Is Lower Back Pain Normal in Early Pregnancy?
Lower back pain in particular (although upper back pain may also happen) is typical during pregnancy. In fact, it is another possible early indication of pregnancy. Most lower back pain is caused by strain on the back as the uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby, but there may be some other causes. The standard causes are listed below.
- Implantation Bleeding When the embryo first attaches to the wall of the uterus, some women report feeling a brief twinge of pain in their uterus or lower back.
- Poor Posture Your body is working hard to support the added weight of your uterus as it expands (yes, even in early pregnancy!) and this can cause a strain on your lower back until you make adjustments to your posture. Make sure to move about regularly (unless you’re on bed rest) and stretch your back whenever possible.
- Constipation In part because of the high iron content in pre-natal vitamins, constipation is a normal part of early pregnancy, and it can cause back pain. Make sure that you are consuming plenty of fluids and that you’re eating a diet high in fiber, and you may be able to get some relief.
- Kidney Infection If a urinary tract infection goes untreated for too long, it may spread into your kidneys and cause a kidney infection. This will also cause lower back pain, and so if changing position doesn’t help, and your bowels remain “regular,” then you should contact your doctor for advice.
Is Breast Pain Normal During Early Pregnancy?
Breast pain may be one of the first signs of pregnancy. During this period, your breasts are beginning to prepare for a big job: Making milk to feed your baby! In addition, the ligaments that support your breasts will begin to relax (along with the ligaments in other parts of your body), and this will account for some of the pain.
In most cases, breast pain is nothing to worry about, but make sure that you contact your doctor if you experience breast pain with a fever, as this may indicate an infection.
Is Hip and Joint Pain Normal During the First Trimester?
As with many pains during pregnancy, these pains are normal.
- Hip pain may be caused by the sciatic nerve, and you may experience this pain throughout your pregnancy, both as a result of sciatica and because your hips are expanding to make room for your uterus and baby. The warm baths and the use of a body pillow may help.
- Joint pain is most common in the second trimester. It generally tapers off during the third trimester (to be replaced by other discomforts), but it may also happen earlier in pregnancy. This pain is generally caused by the ligaments looseningвЂ”one of the less desirable effects associated with this remarkable time in your life. Keep up your activity, but go easy on your body. While joint pain is not generally something to contact your doctor about, it may be an indication that it’s time for you to slow down a bit and stop pushing your body so far.
- Knees, ankles, and wrists. If you experience pain in your knees or ankles, it’s time for you to rest. Pain in your wrists or elbows might mean that it’s time to slow down and reduce the amount of time you spend on the computer.
What Kinds of Abdominal Pain Might You Feel in the First Trimester?
Note: Nausea during early pregnancy may be perfectly normal. You may find natural remedies for morning sickness useful for helping to make the first trimester more pleasant. Most nausea ends in the thirteenth week of your pregnancy, but be aware that morning sickness can continue through your pregnancy depending on hormones.
There are two main types of abdominal pain that a woman may experience in her first trimester:
Abdominal pain becomes more common the further into the pregnancy you get. Strain is unusual during the first trimester because there is less weight gain. If you experience abdominal pain, it is recommended that you visit your doctor for more information.