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By the time you get pregnant for the third time, you are a seasoned parent and a veteran of pregnancy signs and complaints, prenatal appointments, and giving birth. You'd think that, by now, you know exactly what to expect. But of course, every pregnancy is different. Many women approach their third pregnancy in a more relaxed way. But you'll also face new challenges.

Parenting through pregnancy

The most obvious difference between this pregnancy and your last pregnancies is the fact that you are already looking after children. If your kids are still young, you may struggle with energy levels. On the upside, a third pregnancy may be easier than a second pregnancy in this regard. Your children are both used to not having mom available at all times, and if they get on well they can entertain each other some of the time... giving you the opportunity to rest when you need to.

Your body

You may well "show" much earlier than you did in previous pregnancies. Don't be surprised if you are already in maternity clothes before you reach the eight week mark, and prepare to tell other about your pregnancy earlier on. Women with a huge baby bump don't have the luxury of waiting until the first trimester is over. Your uterus has already been stretched plenty, and you may also feel fetal movement much earlier this time. Because you have already dealt with morning sickness, heartburn, and other pregnancy complaints, you may not be worried about them anymore. You know that they will soon pass. You may have more trouble with joint pain this time.


Every birth is different, and while most women expect a shorter third labor that will not necessarily happen. An informal poll I conducted on a large parenting message board showed that lots of women have third labors that last significantly longer than the second. Not very scientific, I know, but it is something you may want to take into account. Birth will not necessarily be easier either it depends on your baby's position and other factors. If you have had a cesarean section before, you are more likely to have one again.

But, if your previous deliveries were uncomplicated and vaginal, you can still have a c-section this time round. The more children you have had, the more likely you are to experience bad afterpains. You will notice painful uterine contractions, primarily when you nurse your baby. For many women, this feeling is so uncomfortable that they opt to take over the counter pain killers to make it stop.

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