You and your family are unique. So, while everything from the internet, to mama and baby groups, to your extended family tree, might be full of people who found it easier to get pregnant the second time, your experience could be different. There’s really no formula for this.
So, whether you’d like to give your child a sibling, or if you’re TTC a rainbow baby, we’ve taken a long hard look at the evidence to ask “is it easier to get pregnant the second time?”
In this article: 📝
- First, a note on TTC after pregnancy loss
- Is it easier to get pregnant after being pregnant?
- Reasons it might not be easier to get pregnant the second time
- Secondary infertility
- The best time to have another baby
- How to get pregnant faster with your second child?
First, a note on TTC after pregnancy loss
If you’ve gone through the experience of losing a pregnancy, trying for another baby can be emotionally tough.
It’s a common myth that you’re extra fertile after a pregnancy loss because your progesterone levels are still elevated. This doesn’t seem to be backed up by science, however. So if you need more time before you’re ready to try again, there really isn’t a reason to rush. But if TTC again helps you to process the initial loss, that’s okay too.
Is it easier to get pregnant after being pregnant?
The truth is that it’s easier for some women to get pregnant again, but harder for others.
The following factors might make it easier to conceive if you’ve already had a baby:
Pregnancy can “solve” some of the things that might have made it harder to get pregnant the first time. For example, pregnancy can sometimes make some of the symptoms of endometriosis less severe. If this was something you battled with, it might be easier the second time.
As your uterus grows, it can stretch out adhesions which might have been making it harder for the egg to descend from your fallopian tube to your uterus.
If you’ve already tried to conceive, you know what you’re doing. And you’re more likely to do things that increase your chances of getting pregnant each month, such as tracking your ovulation date. This can also make things easier.
There is also the idea that your body has ‘learned’ what it needs to do to grow a baby, so it’s easier the second time around. Unfortunately, although there is a lot of evidence to show that second labors are usually shorter, nothing in the science suggests that this applies to getting pregnant as well.
And while it is easier for some to get pregnant the second time, there are factors that can work against you too.
Reasons it might not be easier to get pregnant the second time
If you already have a child, you’re probably a little tired. Stress and tiredness have a bigger impact on our bodies than most of us realize. And it can mean that it takes longer to get pregnant.
If you’re still breastfeeding your first, the hormones can make it harder to get pregnant, especially in the first six months.
If you had a c-section delivery for your first child, scarring in your uterus can sometimes make it harder for a second egg to implant and a placenta to form.
If you’ve been trying for another baby and you don’t seem to be getting anywhere, there’s a chance that you’re experiencing secondary infertility. You’re really not alone in this. Up to 10% of all couples go through it, even if they got pregnant on the first try before.
We don’t fully understand why secondary infertility is so common. There are probably some different factors in play:
Fertility can drop suddenly, especially if you’re older than 35. This goes for the quality of the father’s sperm, by the way, as well as for the number of eggs you have. It’s not all on the mama.
You may have developed polycystic ovary syndrome or endometriosis after your first pregnancy. Although these conditions often start as young as 15 or 16, they can also be diagnosed for the first time in your 30s or 40s.
You may have suffered a complication such as an infection after your first delivery or, if you had surgery, part of your reproductive system may have been damaged.
The advice is the same whether you’re TTC your first child or your fourth. If you’ve been TTC for 12 months or more, it’s a good idea to ask a doctor for some fertility tests. You should cut the wait to six months if you’re over 35.
The best time to have another baby
You can get pregnant again as soon as you ovulate. Remember, unless you’re testing regularly, you might not know exactly when you ovulate for the first time.
And when to try for a second baby if you’ve just had a baby? The advice differs. Most doctors agree that it’s a good idea to wait at least six to 12 months before you get pregnant again. If you’ve had a previous c-section, they might advise you to extend the wait to at least 15 months (so you have two years between births), or even 24 months (two years between pregnancies).
If you’ve had a miscarriage, your doctor will probably advise you to wait for at least one “normal” cycle before you start TTC again (if nothing else, so they can accurately predict your due date). If you had surgery, you’ll also be given advice on how long your body needs to recover.
How to get pregnant faster with your second child?
If you’re ready for another baby, whether you want a small age gap between your kids, it took a long time to get pregnant before, or you’re TTC after a loss, you can do the same things as before to maximize your chances of getting pregnant.
Track when you ovulate by recording your basal body temperature or using ovulation sticks. A side note, though – if your firstborn isn’t sleeping well and you’re having broken nights, temperature tracking can be a lot less accurate.
Have lots of sex in the week before you’re due to ovulate and the two days after. If you already have kids, you might need to schedule this, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be romantic.
Take care of your body and start taking prenatal vitamins before you get pregnant.
Is it easier to tell if you’re pregnant the second time?
Actually, not always. Your body can really surprise you.
Pregnancy symptoms don’t just differ from woman to woman, but from pregnancy to pregnancy. So while there’s a chance that tell-tale signs like pregnancy nausea and cravings for pickles and chocolate will kick in earlier or, further down the line you might feel things like the first kicks sooner, your symptoms might also be completely different, which could totally throw you off track.
In fact, if you’re not having a regular period while you’re TTC, it can be easy to miss your second pregnancy altogether! Many mamas find out that number two is on the way much later than they did with their first pregnancy.
Just keep testing and watching your body for those subtle changes without expecting them to be exactly what you had before. Hopefully, BFP number two isn’t far away.
Good luck, mama!