How Weight Gain During Second Pregnancy Differs From the First One

Weight Gain During Second Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Shruti Kainth (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Are you planning to surprise your child by giving him the news that soon a little brother or sister will come into his life? Planning for a second pregnancy could be exciting, but dealing with the symptoms again can make you nervous. If you are unsure about handling the pregnancy vibes again, let us assure you that you are not alone in the journey of a second pregnancy. Many women want a second child but are unaware how it could affect their health and, most importantly, their weight. Read on to learn more about weight gain during the second pregnancy, its causes, and how to deal with it.

Is Weight Gain During Second Pregnancy Different From the First Pregnancy?

No two pregnancies are the same. Although you will be familiar with pregnancy symptoms after having your first child, many things will be different in the second pregnancy – one of them being your pregnancy weight. In your second pregnancy, you might put on more weight as compared to the first pregnancy. The difference between the two weights will depend on your current diet and fitness. Also, because your body will go through another set of transformations to birth the second child, your weight will differ compared to the first pregnancy.

Let’s take a deeper look at how weight gain during the second pregnancy is different from the first one and what causes it.

How Is Weight Gain During Second Pregnancy Different From the First Pregnancy?

During your first pregnancy, the weight gain process could be slow, and your body may be fit, but you may gain weight faster in the second pregnancy. The amount of weight could be extra or less depending upon the diet and fitness, as mentioned earlier, but it also depends a lot on the physique.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, some women are likely to gain the same amount of weight which they gained during their first pregnancy. Some women, who could not shed the extra weight after having their first kid, would gain some more weight because the starting point for them will be excess itself. Remember, it is important to keep the weight under control as excess weight gain during pregnancy could lead to pregnancy complications, like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, cesarean delivery, etc. It is also noticed that babies born to women with maternal excess weight gain are likely to have premature birth, increased both weight, diabetes, and potential obesity and heart problems in later life.

What Causes More Weight Gain During Second Pregnancy?

Here are some of the reasons that will help you understand why you are gaining more weight in the second pregnancy:

1. Being Overweight After the First Pregnancy

Very few women can conceive a second time with a fit body. This is because shedding the extra weight from the first pregnancy is difficult. You will require lots of time and an effective workout regime to get fit, but unfortunately, that’s not possible if you are already devoted to taking care of your growing kid. Therefore, women conceiving after their first pregnancy could find it difficult to be physically fit and end up being overweight. In conclusion, your weight will be more than what you gained during your first pregnancy if you have not yet reduced your previous pregnancy’s postpartum weight.

In a 2010 study, it was reported that compared with normal-weight women, women with excessive gestational weight gain in their first pregnancy had high chances for excessive gestational weight gain in their second pregnancy. Similarly, women with inadequate gestational weight gain in their first pregnancy were also likely to have less weight gain in their second pregnancy. In simple words, the fluctuating weight loss and gain in the first pregnancy often repeat in subsequent pregnancies.

2. The Baby Bump Starts Showing Early

During your first pregnancy, your friends or family may not have realised that you could be pregnant until your bump would have started showing up and is prominent (15 weeks and above). But, in the case of your second pregnancy, your belly may show up very early (between 12-15 weeks). The reason can be that the uterus does not return to its normal shape after giving birth to the first child, which means it stretches faster when you are pregnant for the second time.

3. The Position of the Baby Is Lower

The first pregnancy stretches out the abdominal muscles and the abdominal skin. These muscles remain weak even after the first child is born. As a result, during the second pregnancy, the abdominal muscles are unable to support your baby, which leads to a lower positioning of the foetus growing inside you. This will not harm your baby in any way, but it could be both advantageous and disadvantageous for you. The advantage is that it will be easy for you to breathe and eat during your second pregnancy as compared to the first one, and the disadvantage is that there will be constant pressure on the pelvic area and bladder which will increase your urination frequency.

A pregnant woman drinking healthy juice

4. Changes in Hormonal and Metabolic Activity

The body undergoes many changes during your first pregnancy, but these changes happen slowly. It includes all the physiological changes like weight gain, an increase in the size of the uterus, changes in skin tone, an increase in pigmentation on the skin, etc. But, during your second pregnancy, because your body has undergone all the metabolic and hormonal changes earlier, it will react faster to the changes as compared to that of your first pregnancy.

5. Less Time for Self Care and Nutritious Meals

When you have a small child to take care of, the time to care for self-needs and nutrition distributes with the taking care of family, job, and child. During the first pregnancy, more focus is on the mother because she has then a lot of time for self-care, but in the second pregnancy, there is hardly or lesser time to enjoy the pregnancy. Similarly, with a balanced diet, the second pregnancy of the busy lives of moms after a child or two is incomparable to the first pregnancy. Moms choose to eat whatever they can fit into their busy schedules. This can push them towards ready-to-eat meals, easy-to-prepare foods and junk food to cease their cravings and hunger. Thus, the weight gain.

Because the changes will appear faster, you must be extra careful with your health during your second pregnancy. Here are some tips that can help you do that.

Tips to Take Extra Care of Your Health During Second Pregnancy

Follow these tips to take good care of yourself during your second pregnancy:

  • Eat healthy food during your second pregnancy.
  • Consume lots of fluid, especially water and fresh fruit juices. Don’t go for preservative juices.
  • Have lots of fibrous food and fruits in your diet.
  • Always limit food portions and never overeat. Overeating can be avoided by following a meal/snack schedule to stay full and energetic throughout the day.
  • Consult your medical practitioner and add easy exercises to your routine, at least a brisk walk to stay active and healthy.
  • Try not to bend when you are pregnant, also don’t lift heavy objects; the changes your body goes through during pregnancy, including weight gain, could increase back pain.


1. Is It Difficult to Lose Weight After Second Pregnancy?

Weight gain in the second pregnancy may seem permanent, but it is possible to maintain a healthy weight after the second pregnancy. However, some moms may have difficulty losing weight after the second pregnancy, which could be because of several reasons that can be rectified in due time. Some of the reasons that could make losing weight after the second pregnancy difficult include the busy schedules of moms, lack of time for themselves, hormonal and metabolism imbalance, and higher pre-pregnancy weight (weight gained after the first pregnancy, which was not managed before in due time. 

2. How Can I Lose Weight After Second Baby?

Gaining more weight in the second pregnancy is a common occurrence, but losing it after the second pregnancy is also possible. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Breastfeed your baby exclusively for 6 months and after 6 months as well. Breastfeeding burns the calories of the mother, helping her manage her postpartum weight gain.
  • Exercise regularly. Regular exercising keeps you fit and your weight in check.
  • Walk regularly. Walking is a well-established fact to keep a breastfeeding mother’s weight in control postpartum. Plus, it has tons of other scientific benefits.
  • Eat healthily. Besides skimping on junk and ready-to-eat foods, eat fresh, homemade food that includes more colourful fruits and vegetables, grains, and lean fats. Limit salty and caffeine items postpartum.
  • Drink enough water and stay hydrated. Water flushes our toxins and keeps our weight in check.
  • Carve time for yourself. Pamper yourself with whatever you like to do.

3. Will My Belly Grow Bigger in the Second Pregnancy Than in the First?

It is possible for women to have a bigger belly in the second pregnancy than in the first, especially if the belly fat from the first pregnancy is not yet reduced. However, this may not be the case for all, as pregnancy signs and symptoms can differ from woman to woman.

If you are contemplating a second pregnancy, you may have to plan a little in advance, as your body will not react as it did during the first pregnancy. There’s no doubt that the second baby will bring lots of love and happiness to your family again, but concerns related to your weight might stress you out. Well, there is no need to stress if you work out daily and follow a diet plan. Start early, and you won’t gain additional weight in your second pregnancy. In fact, you will find yourself in a better position to manage your health and the second childbirth too.


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4. Univerity of Michigan; Rollercoaster weight changes can repeat with second pregnancy, especially among normal-weight women; Science Daily;; November 2019

5. Ludwig. D. S, Currie. J; The association between pregnancy weight gain and birthweight: a within-family comparison; Lancet; PubMed Central;; September 2010

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7. Chin. J. R, Krause. K. M, Ostbye. T, et al.; Gestational weight gain in consecutive pregnancies; Am J Obstet Gynecol.; PubMed;; September 2010

8. Pregnancy Weight Gain; American Pregnancy Association;

Also Read:

Labour during Second Pregnancy
Second Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms
Important Pregnancy Questions to Ask Your Ob-Gyn

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