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Is it normal to worry about pregnancy after c-section, or is this just like any other pregnancy? For many women, it comes as a surprise when they notice that Baby no. 2 feels different inside the womb than Baby no. 1. After all, pregnancy is a wonderful time, but it is scary and filled with a lot of unknown elements for many women. No matter how much you read about it, you end up discovering new things about your body, your food preferences change, and your sleep patterns are different. And just when you thought you knew what to expect from pregnancy, there is the issue of carrying a baby in a womb that was once surgically cut open.
Chapter 1. SECOND PREGNANCY AFTER C-SECTION
For starters, it is essential to keep in mind that every pregnancy is different, and that goes even for pregnancies of the same person. Therefore, you can expect a second pregnancy to be different, especially a second pregnancy after a c-section.
Pregnancies that are too close together are usually the case with women who feel they are too old to wait the recommended period of time between birth and their next conception. Therefore, if someone is over 35, had her first baby and wanted a second one, the idea of waiting for two years before trying again, then waiting to get pregnant for a couple of months, is a time they feel they do not have.
Section 1. Safe Pregnancy After a C-Section
There are situations when a woman can become pregnant unexpectedly fast right after delivery. The reason? The body knows its way around a pregnancy and can settle in much faster. However, even though your body can do this, doctors advise against it because you need to give the body time to heal and adapt to the idea of having a new family member to care for. The suggested time gap between pregnancies is of a minimum of 18 to 23 months. This gives the body enough time to heal and to strengthen for the next nine months.
During this time, sleep and relaxation are nearly out of the question, given the fact that you have a small baby to take care of, a surgery scar that needs to heal properly, and abdomen and back muscles to strengthen.
This goes double if you want a safe pregnancy after C-section because the uterine wall has been cut open. Unlike the first pregnancy when the womb stretches out gradually, in the second pregnancy, the bump is visible much faster because of muscle memory. This means that it will be stretched for longer this time around and that is not all. There are two cuts you must pay attention to: the one on your skin and the one inside, which you cannot see, and which is not directly under the surface cut.
Section 2. Risks of Pregnancy After a C-Section
Vaginal delivery makes for a speedy recovery. Even so, doctors still recommend you wait between 18 and 23 months between pregnancies. If you have had a C-section and got pregnant before this period, do not worry. There are a lot of women who manage to give birth to healthy babies, so if it has already happened to you, do not panic. It is essential to know the risks of pregnancy after a c-section and to be one step ahead of everything. Here are some of the problems you can expect and look for:
- Uterine rupture: the wall of your uterus could break if two pregnancies are too close together. This is an increased risk if the pregnant woman is overweight and if the new delivery is vaginal.
- Placenta previa and placental abruption: it happens when the placenta does not rise and is left to cover the cervix. This can cause bleeding as the pregnancy progresses and the doctor may tell you to spend the last months of pregnancy in bed. Women who have had C-sections have a higher risk of placenta previa in the second pregnancy. Another problem deriving from placenta previa is placental abruption. This is when the placenta becomes wholly detached from the uterine wall. These are significant complications and a problem your doctor will most specifically look for.
- Low birth weight and preterm delivery: There is such a thing as getting pregnant too soon and the general period, in this case, is of a minimum of six months. Doctors consider pregnancies that are too close together to mean a body that is not that well prepared for a new baby. Chances are delivery will be around 36-37 weeks and for Baby to have a low birth weight.
Section 3. Pain in Second Pregnancy After C-Section
There is some pain in a second pregnancy after C-section that women should expect, it mostly comes from the cesarean section scars. Expect to have a pulling sensation as the belly starts to grow (which happens sooner than in your first pregnancy), and a scratching or burning sensation around the scars.
Section 4. Pregnancy Symptoms After C-Section
You can think about pregnancy after C-section without fear of having to go through an unbearable pain. Although unpleasant, most of the pregnancy symptoms after C-section are mainly uncomfortable, but you can still live with them. Maybe some of the pulling and burning sensations can be distressing. And most women do not know that things are supposed to be different. There are also Braxton Hicks contractions to be dealt with earlier. You can also expect lower back pain and varicose veins. Basically, every pregnancy-related problem you may have had during your first pregnancy – expect it during your second as well.
There is another aspect you need to pay attention to when thinking of pregnancy right after a C-Section: the first surgery scar needs to heal properly. This means you may want to abstain from sex if there is swelling in the area or you feel pain.
But who knows? You can have most of the textbook symptoms or none of them. There are many women who get pregnant right away after delivery and manage to give birth to healthy babies. However, since each body is different, this is something you can take with a grain of salt. Two types of women will worry about pregnancy after a C-section: the women who fear their age does discourages them from waiting the recommended amount of time between pregnancies, and those who had to undergo an emergency C-section when they planned for a vaginal delivery. The latter can really mess up your plans, but you can still work around this unexpected challenge.
Chapter 2. Conclusion
Yes, the second pregnancy can be different from your first. Yes, there is some more pain when it’s after a Cesarean section. And yes, you should wait a while longer between pregnancies. There are many success stories of women who happened to get pregnant sooner than recommended, but there are some risks you should be aware of. If you got along well with your doctor, do not hesitate to contact him or her for your second pregnancy. If he or she is the one who delivered your baby and kept a close eye on you during your pregnancy, he will know how your body reacted during your first pregnancy. Therefore, you will not have to update him or her every step of the way in your new pregnancy after a C-section.