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When Should You Plan for a Second Baby After Delivery?

Medically reviewed by Rubilyn Saldana-Santiago, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Jul 26, 2022

When Should You Plan for a Second Baby After Delivery?

A child in your life will definitely give you perspective as a parent. With the joy of one, you’re probably thinking of two! So when’s the best time to plan for your second baby? Here’s a complete guide on how and when to plan for a second baby.

Plan for Second Baby: Considerations When Planning

Having a second baby is completely a couple’s choice. However, here are a couple of considerations you may want to think over.

  1. You now have first-hand experience on how to take care of a baby. All myths you had before will have been debunked. In short, you’re now more experienced!
  2. If you had a C-section done, then that might be an issue if you want the next one with vaginal delivery. Once the incision is made, there are fewer cases of opting for delivery through the birth canal.
  3. You will be better equipped to make a schedule for your next child. You can also prepare in advance for the things that didn’t go well the first time.
  4. You may not be resting as much as you did when you delivered the first time. This is both a pro and a con since movement will keep you active. However, no rest might leave you fatigued.
  5. Even if you have gone through pregnancy once, this pregnancy may have its own set of challenges. These challenges might be completely different from the first time as every pregnancy is unique.

Plan for Second Baby: Points to Ponder

There are certain factors that will help you decide if you are ready to be a mother for the second time.

Consider the gap

As per experts, there needs to be a minimum gap of 18 months between your first and second pregnancy. This is because of various reasons. The primary one being that during the first pregnancy, your body has gone through major hormonal and vaginal changes. It takes time for your body to heal and go back to how it was pre-pregnancy. Apart from the physical, you have to be psychologically prepared. It is recommended that women space pregnancies at least 18 months apart.

Check your iron levels

Iron helps in the formation of the red blood cells for you, the baby, and the placenta. When planning for your next child, get an iron test done. Anemia due to iron deficiency can lead to growth delays in the baby and preterm labor. A lot of this blood is lost during delivery and hence, needs time to replenish.


Your periods are affected after pregnancy and it takes time for your cycle to go back to normal. Specifically, because of the hormonal changes, your menstrual cycle will be harder to track. It may be more difficult to pinpoint when you’re ovulating. Even if you’re having sex regularly and not using birth control methods, it may not be as easy to conceive.

Ovulation also depends on breastfeeding, weight, stress, diet, and alcohol consumption or smoking, as all of these factors contribute to fertility. Hence, you may need to crack this ovulation timeline before you plan for second baby.

Reshape your pelvic structure

Your pelvic structure goes through maximum tear and healing during and after childbirth. Your vagina has to go back to the way it functioned and looked before pregnancy and that can take time. If you opted for vaginal delivery, this method may have damaged your perineum, causing it to swell. Your uterus, bladder, womb, birth canal, all have gone through tremendous stress to protect the baby. Your entire pelvic floor needs to go through this process again and will need to be as strong as it was the first time.


Your weight can increase due to the first pregnancy, hormonal changes, and post-delivery stress, especially if you had a C-section delivery. Another reason can be due to the new schedule that you now have to follow and this may include zero or very less exercise. Conceiving the second time requires your body to be ready for it. Therefore, check your weight before you wish to become pregnant again as this can be a big hindrance for you.

Hormone revitalization

Oestrogen and progesterone are two hormones that need to stabilize before your next pregnancy. These hormones control your ovulation process and consequently affect fertility. While some women get their period in the first month after delivery, some might take more time than usual. Therefore, your reproductive system needs to replenish and revitalize for you to get pregnant the second time.

Plan for Second Baby: Other underlying issues

Your nutrition may be depleted after you have delivered a child. This can result in high chances of you developing thyroid problems, diabetes, obesity, etc. Although these conditions can be taken care of in due course, they can be major setbacks in conceiving the second time and may not allow for your choice of delivery. For example, if you have blood clotting problems, then a vaginal or natural birth may not be suitable for you. Consult your physician about how to go about your second pregnancy to get a better idea.

Check your finances

This is an essential point to consider when gearing up for your next child. This may have nothing to do with your body, but sure is an important point to consider. Your expenses will now be doubled for everything, from hospital fees, to the baby’s health, clothes, toys, and much later education. You might also want to get a bigger space to accommodate your family of four or more.

Consider the above points before you plan to have your second baby.

Key takeaway

Is it time to plan for a second baby? Consider the gap between your first and second child, as well as your personal health. This includes your iron levels, periods and ovulation, recovery from the previous pregnancy, weight gain, and hormone revitalization.

Learn more about Preparing to Get Pregnant here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Rubilyn Saldana-Santiago, MD


Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Jul 26, 2022

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