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6 things to keep in mind when planning a second baby

Getting pregnant the second time around comes with a host of challenges. These tips will help you.

If your first pregnancy was a smooth run, don t expect the same the second time round. Your body, your energy level and hormones, all have undergone a sea change and though it is the second time for you, for your body, it is a new challenge. So, if you are planning a second baby, here are a few things you should do to gear up for conception and make your pregnancy smooth sailing.

1. Get a blood test done: Your doctor might asked you to do this when you discuss your plans of conceiving. This is not just to confirm a pregnancy, but to check your iron level. There is quite a high chance that you might suffer iron-deficiency during your second pregnancy. Iron is an important nutrient during pregnancy as it helps in forming the red blood cells for the mother, baby and the placenta. You need 50 percent more blood in your body during pregnancy to meet the needs of the fetus and your pregnant body. Iron-deficiency anemia can lead to pre-term labour, developmental delays and also infant anemia. So, load up on iron during your conception to avoid complications. Here are few reasons why it gets difficult to conceive a second time.

2. Start tracking your ovulation: Just because you are not using any birth control and have an active sex life, don t expect the baby-making process to be a breeze. You need to put in efforts. Your menstrual cycle could go for a toss after the hormonal surges, birth control and breastfeeding. So start tracking your ovulating days to know when is the best time for you to conceive. This might take you three or four months to hit right. Don t lose hope. Here are eight best sex positions to get pregnant.

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3. Lose some weight: It is difficult to shed weight post-delivery, but it isn t impossible. Most women get back to their pre-pregnancy weight after sweating it out real hard. But if you didn t bother to lose it earlier, get kicking now. Excess weight can come in the way of pregnancy as it affects fertility or even leads to poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, where hormonal imbalances can lead to anovulation (stop or delay the release of egg on time). So run, jog or join an aerobics class to better your chances of conception. Here is how your weight makes it difficult for you to conceive.

4. Educate your partner: It takes two to make a baby. So educate your partner on how he can help you. The right nutrition to boost sperm health, avoiding vices like smoking and alcohol and various other things can help the sperm fertilise the egg soon. Talk to your partner about how he can help you conceive, provided both of you are on the same page when it comes to second pregnancy. Here are six foods to improve sperm health.

5. Time the pregnancy right: If you are worried about your age and fertility, then the sooner you plan your second pregnancy, the better. However, space your pregnancies adequately. Try not to plan your second pregnancy at least before 18 months of the first one [1]. It is advisable to keep a gap of at least three years between the two children so that your toddler is old enough and would not need too much of your attention during your pregnancy.

6. Talk to an IVF specialist: Trying to conceive the second time can be really frustrating if there are no results even after trying for six months or more. Secondary infertility, that is, inability to conceive or carry on with a pregnancy the second time around is common among urban Indian women. Most of them either find it difficult to conceive or miscarry repeatedly. There could be many reasons for this -- lifestyle changes, maternal age, medications, etc., says Dr Richa Jagtap, consultant reproductive medicine, Nova IVI Fertility. If that is the case with you, don t hesitate to seek help from an IVF specialist.

Reference:

Dibaba, Y. (2010). Child Spacing and Fertility Planning Behavior among Women in Mana District, Jimma Zone, South West Ethiopia. Ethiopian journal of health sciences, 20(2).

Image source: Shutterstock


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