When women get pregnant for the first time, there are a lot of fears that stem from the unknown. Not knowing what life will look like with a baby, how it will be trying to function sleep-deprived, how the dynamic with a partner will change, and so many more things are swirling around their minds in anticipation of their babies being born. And just like with the first baby, the second baby will bring about fears as well. Those fears are just as valid and yet different from what they are with the first.
As such, moms may find that they are afraid of having a second baby.
Having a baby means that life changes forever. While it is challenging to raise one, the stakes are raised when it comes to raising two. There is less time to give to each child, more to coordinate, and more exhaustion, but somehow mothers manage to do it all. They just do not understand how much they are capable of until they are in the throes of raising multiple little ones.
Here is why moms are afraid of having a second baby.
Fear That There Is Not Enough Love To Go Around
A fear that many women have when they are on their second pregnancy is how they are going to have enough love to go around. But because a mother’s heart has so much love to give, this is a fear that quickly goes away.
According to MothersCare Doula Services, women love their second babies as much as their first. While some women find that they bond with their second babies while pregnant, much like they did with their first, per publication, it can take a moment for that bond to grow with the second. That can be as soon as babies are placed in mothers’ arms or can even take a little longer.
When mothers do not have the same bond with their second babies that they have with their older babies right away, they may be concerned that there is not the same love to give to the second babies. But, according to MothersCare Doula Services, mothers need to remember that they have had years to build up a bond with their older children. And before mothers-of-two know it, the bond and love will be strong for both babies.
Unknown Of How Relationship With First Child Will Change
For nearly two years or more, mothers have had an opportunity to develop a close, caring, loving relationship with their first babies. And by having a second child, there is a fear of how that relationship will change.
According to Dr. Greene, the relationship between mothers and their firstborn children will change. This is because it is physically impossible with a new baby to give the older child the same amount of attention that they were getting before. It may mean that there is some pushback on the part of the older sibling, and it may feel like there is a distance for a time.
But, as the older sibling and the new baby begin to form a bond, the relationship will change again. And it is possible that it will be stronger than it ever was before.
Not Knowing How The Older Child & Baby Will Get Along
There is never any telling how well the older child will get along with the new baby. And this is a legitimate concern for pregnant women with their second babies.
According to Parents, the fear of sibling rivalry is very real when the family is about to expand from one child to two. But there are ways to minimize those fears by helping firstborn children get used to the idea of a sibling before the new baby even comes home.
Per the publication, ways to help the first child adapt to a new baby include:
- Talk about the baby often
- Make sure the firstborn has a friend or two outside the family
- Do not use the belly as a reason that things cannot be done so that children do not resent their siblings before they even arrive
- Give the firstborn a gift from the baby
- Praise firstborn for interaction with a baby when they arrive
- Let firstborn kids help with taking care of baby
The more that the first child sees that they are still important and loved after the second baby arrives, the easier the two siblings will bond. And this may just lead to the two being best friends as they age.
Fear Of Trying To Care For Older Child & Baby
Taking care of one baby was a challenge. As such, it is natural for women to wonder how caring for a child and a baby will work.
According to VeryWell Family, going from one baby to two can be chaos. But it is also rewarding.
The priorities will shift, not everything that used to get done will get done, and asking for help is not a weakness. But mothers will see just how strong they are and what they are capable of, and sooner rather than later, a new norm will exist. And they will see it is possible to take care of not only one child, but two.
Having Two Children Might Change Marriage
There is no doubt about it. When a second baby enters the picture, the dynamic of the marriage will change. How it changes and if those changes are positive or negative depends on how much communication couples have with one another.
According to a 2015 study, those couples with went from one child to two who participated in positive communication had more positive feelings about their relationship than those who blamed one another, yelled at one another, or did not communicate at all.
Over a third of the women in the study felt like there was an increase in conflict in the relationship. A similar number of men felt less positive about the relationship as well.
As such, if couples are willing to communicate with one another during this transition in their lives and work with one another as opposed to against one another, they will fare well. It is when communication wanes that troubles could be on the horizon.
Source: MothersCare Doula Services, American Psychological Association, Dr. Greene, Parents, VeryWell Family
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