Coping with the reality of back-to-back pregnancies was very difficult. When you are dealing with a newborn, the last thing you want to do is to have to deal with fatigue and morning sickness. However, that was my reality-a needy newborn and a new pregnancy.
The issues with back-to-back pregnancies don’t end there. In some cases, the pregnancy is more difficult and is high risk because the mother didn’t have time to heal. The baby can also be affected as the mother may not have adequate nutrients to heal and feed the new fetus.
Luckily, I made it through both pregnancies and both boys are healthy. Here are some of the ways I coped with back-to-back pregnancies:
There will be days where the realities of caring for a newborn despite the pregnancy will seem too much to bear. When this occurs, have someone watch your newborn for you and take some time to reflect on the positive things in your life. Focusing on the positive things in life instead of dwelling on the negative will go a long way to making the situation more bearable.
My positive attitude adjustment time was nightly when my husband would take care of the baby for me to take a bath. That was my time to reflect on the things that went right that day-even it was something as simple as getting a load of laundry done.
Rest, Rest, Rest
Not only do you have new parent fatigue, you also have pregnancy related fatigue. You have to rest as much as possible, even if that means letting other things fall to the wayside. In my case, I had to quit my job because I just couldn’t get enough sleep to stay awake at work and I was so tired when I was at home that my newborn was suffering.
Exercise-IF Your Doctor Approves
In some cases, you won’t be allowed to exercise because of the strain it places on your body. If you are allowed to exercise, walk every morning with your newborn. You can push him in a stroller. Not only will exercising help you to maintain your energy level and stamina, it will help you prepare for delivery and gives you time to spend admiring nature and your newborn.
You need food for energy, your unborn child needs you to eat so he can have nutrition and you need food to help you heal from your last delivery. Buy healthy snack foods and other healthy convenience foods so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time preparing food. You can also cook extra servings of food each time you cook and freeze it so you can have a meal quickly when you need it.
Help Around the House
When I was going through these pregnancies, I didn’t have the luxury of having someone help me. My family and my husband’s family all lived more than 8 hours from us. Instead of having outside help, we simplified our lives. Plastic utensils, paper plates and other convenience items became the norm in our house. We got takeout food from local restaurants frequently, but we tried to avoid fast food for the most part. I kept up with the laundry by starting a load as soon as I woke up. I would throw it in the dryer after I ate lunch. Either my husband or I would fold it at some point. If it didn’t get folded, we just threw it in a laundry basket and threw it in the dryer before we needed to wear it so the wrinkles would be knocked out.
Your prenatal appointments may be more frequent because of the risk of the back-to-back pregnancies. Keep all of your appointments and don’t be afraid to contact your OB if you feel something is going wrong with your pregnancy. Your doctor appointments are the only way you have to ensure that all is right with you and your unborn baby.
With a little help and some planning, it is possible to make it through back-to-back pregnancies. You just have to make yourself, your newborn and your unborn baby the top priorities in life.