Are you ready to do this all over again? Thank your stars that you don’t remember what labour was like, or you wouldn’t be pondering a second pregnancy! It must be something about the whole mothering experience that makes us want to do it another time! Before planning a second pregnancy, there are many factors that one must consider.

Your health

Experts believe that it takes at least one full year for a woman’s body to recover from the vitamin depletion from pregnancy and childbirth. The tremendous strain on your reproductive system along with the weight fluctuations that you experienced with your previous pregnancy typically takes a tremendous toll on your health and overall fitness. If you had a C- section, you may be looking at a longer recuperation time than with a normal childbirth. So before you are ready to take on baby number two or three or four, consider your readiness from a wellness perspective.

It is important that you get a sufficient amount of sleep during your pregnancy; if your first child still wakes you during the night for a feeding or two, in all likelihood you don’t get enough sleep as it is. Taking on a pregnancy at this time will leave you exhausted and maybe even frustrated as a result. Also mothers who are still breast-feeding will undoubtedly be challenged by nourishing two babies; a second pregnancy at this time is not recommended.

In getting ready for the next baby, consider getting into a regular exercise program so that you can get your weight under control; this will help you meet the demands of new motherboard all over again. Get preconception checkups along with a clean bill of health from your obstetrician just so you know that your body is ready.

Your finances

If you are a housewife, consider the expenses of adding another family member into your budget. Babies are not cheap by any means and even with hand-me-downs from baby number one (assuming she has outgrown her crib, walker and pram), expenses can be significant. On the other hand, if you have gone back to work after your previous baby, can you afford to take time off for a second or third maternity leave? Depending on how understanding your employer is, something will have to give, and more often than not, it is the woman’s career that takes the biggest hit during pregnancy. Having said that, if you are planning to have more children, it may be better to get it out of the way sooner rather than later. You are busy round-the- clock anyway!

Get your heads together and come up with a preliminary budget to see how your new baby will impact your life as it is now. If waiting a few months to a year or two can dramatically change your financial situation, then consider that as well.

Your age and fertility

pregnant with second childIf you are part of the 35+ club, then the odds of conceiving quickly may not be in your favour. If you are determined to have another baby, then this factor overrides just about any other consideration as one cannot really argue with your biological clock! Assuming that you have begun taking prenatal vitamins and exercising regularly, make an appointment with a fertility specialist in case you have already been trying to conceive for six months and have failed.

The fertility of a woman decreases significantly after age 35, so consider not putting off your pregnancy for much longer. Once you conceive, you will be considered a high risk pregnancy and will be monitored closely for gestational diabetes and high blood pressure along with tests for genetic abnormalities. Fortunately test like chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis can allay your fears as you progress through the pregnancy. Good luck!