If the first baby came early, will the second?

Monica - posted on 02/17/2009 ( 26 moms have responded )

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My first child was born at 35 weeks, is my second more likely to be early as well? There was no known reason for her to be early and she was healthy as can be, lungs developed, she just wanted to sleep all the time, lost too much weight, and had jaundice. Overall, we were lucky. I remember the nurse making an off hand comment that the second usually comes earlier than the first. But I've looked and I can't find any studies, thus I must rely on personal experience.

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Monica - posted on 07/22/2013

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I'm the original poster. So here is an update over four years later! The second child came out on her own terms two weeks late! So in my lay person opinion, unless you have a health issue that caused an early birth one premie does not mean another.
Cheers and thanks for the encouraging words all!

Sherryn - posted on 09/07/2011

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My son was born at 37 weeks but my water broke at 36 weeks, I'm so worried that the problems I had with him will happen again I'm now 21 weeks preg with number 2

Angie - posted on 03/02/2009

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My waters broke at 32 weeks and I had my little guy the next day. The doctors were never able to give me a reason for this, but everything worked out. Dylan was on a ventilator for 3 days then CPAP to help with breathing, today he is 20 months and you wouldn't even know he was a premmie. I am now 28 weeks pregnant and am a little worried about this one being early as well, but the doctor doesn't seem too concerned, so that helps a bit.

Nicole - posted on 07/31/2011

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my first was a week early....and my second was two weeks early only because i had preclampsya....and my third was a week late....theres no telling when they will decide to come....

Dana - posted on 09/29/2012

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My son came at 37w2days, but I went into labor at 37w0d, about 2 hours before my 37w appointment, where the doctor said that the contractions weren't very productive, as i'm only 1cm dilated. After labouring all night, I went back the next day (hub had to leave work, why he went IDFK), and I was 3cm. Contractions got closer and closer all day, doctor told me to go to the hospital, and I never dilated more. They had to break my membranes, nothing, they gave me pitocen, nothing. I needed intervention. Everything that was supposed to dilate me, made me stop laboring, except the epidural I didn't want but had to due to the pitocen, and my doctor manually dilating me (eww).

Anyway. I had extremely low PAPP-A levels, lowest 5%, which causes: low birth weight, PRE-TERM LABOR, pre-eclampsya, and still-born. He wasn't technically PRE-TERM, but he WAS absolutely early, and had a lower birth weight (6lb15oz, great for 37w). I haven't had a second one, yet, though, so I don't know. My point is that you should try to figure out if there was a reason you delivered early: maybe your doctor checked if you were dilated/effaced, you took something that causes labor (folk or western medicine or a food), you got a massage or a foot massage (I got a foot massage two days and the day before I laboured, which can cause labor, supposedly), cleaned too vigorously (I have to wonder if my 2-day obsession with cleaning was the cause or the effect of having a baby two days later), sex, or any other number of reasons.

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Julia - posted on 12/15/2012

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my first son was born with his lower intestinse out the doctors called it gastroscisis, he was born a month early. im just afraid that my second will be born early to. what are the chances? im at 33 weeks and 1 day, my stomach feels hard and tight and i also feel sharp needle like pain down near my vagina. someone tell me im not just being paranoid.

Sandy84 - posted on 10/23/2012

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Don't really think that there is a correlation.. doesn't seem normal to me :) But there may be exceptions...

Sandy84 - posted on 09/29/2012

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I think this depends on a lot of factors.. so, yes, it may be the case. But there's reasons for a baby coming early that are not related to you as a mom :)

Trisha - posted on 08/19/2011

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my son was born @ 37 weeks and 5 days and then my daughter was just born @ exactly 37 weeks. i think everybody is different tho, but i would talk to ur doctor about your concerns even tho that do a whole lot to change it.

Belinda - posted on 07/27/2011

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My first child was early, my second I was induced 5 days early, my third I was one week late!

Tara - posted on 03/04/2009

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You do run a higher risk of delivering early but not much of one. All the ladies I know with two children who delivered a preemie had full term babies their second time around!

Melanie - posted on 03/04/2009

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My daughter was born at 36 weeks and 5 days and my doctor has told me to prepare myself for the second one coming early - I'm 36 weeks and 2 days now and my suitcase is all packed for the hospital! My first had no problems at all (she weighed 5lb14 and now is a sturdy 2 year old) and as far as the doctor can see this one is perfectly comfortable in the womb, but I have a very hard and contracted womb (my tummy is always like a rock) and my doctor said it's nothing to do with the babies, it's my body that wants to push them out early!

Melanie - posted on 03/04/2009

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My daughter was born at 36 weeks and 5 days and my doctor has told me to prepare myself for the second one coming early - I'm 36 weeks and 2 days now and my suitcase is all packed for the hospital! My first had no problems at all (she weighed 5lb14 and now is a sturdy 2 year old) and as far as the doctor can see this one is perfectly comfortable in the womb, but I have a very hard and contracted womb (my tummy is always like a rock) and my doctor said it's nothing to do with the babies, it's my body that wants to push them out early!

Lynzey - posted on 03/01/2009

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Great to see I'm not the only one panicking about early labor!! My 1st daughter was born at 40wks, 3 years later my son was born at 37 weeks healthy just not able to hold temp. very well and jaundice. I'm due April 15th and will be working until 37 wks. I am a cook so I am on my feet a lot, plus with a 2 y/o at home I don't have much time to rest! I've been so worried about going into labor early and the dr's have neither calmed nor encouraged my fears.

Leron - posted on 02/28/2009

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All good to know. My son was born at 37 weeks. I'm kinda hoping this one doesn't come early. I'm in a wedding three weeks before my due date! My best friends, i'm the matron of honor! Yikes!

Melanie - posted on 02/26/2009

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I went into labor at 35 weeks with my oldest child.  They gave me medication to stop the labor, and he was born at 37 weeks.  Since then, my next 2 children were also born at 37 weeks.  Due to that, my doctor is expecting my 4th to be born around 37 weeks, but has never been concerned that it would be any earlier, since that seems to have been a fluke.  Since it's only happened once, I would not assume that it will happen again.  Good luck!

Samara - posted on 02/23/2009

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Quoting Monica:

If the first baby came early, will the second?

My first child was born at 35 weeks, is my second more likely to be early as well? There was no known reason for her to be early and she was healthy as can be, lungs developed, she just wanted to sleep all the time, lost too much weight, and had jaundice. Overall, we were lucky. I remember the nurse making an off hand comment that the second usually comes earlier than the first. But I've looked and I can't find any studies, thus I must rely on personal experience.


my first child was a little bit early but my second was nealy two weeks over due i just think that they will come when they are ready

Melissa - posted on 02/19/2009

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My Hannah (1st) came 1 week before EDD (we were sure of the 40 w mark because we knew when we conceived).



My Lily came 1 day before her EDD.

Monica - posted on 02/18/2009

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Sara May, you make an interesting point. I have a stressful job, and at the time I went into labor it was unusually stressful. Too bad I can't do anything about my stress level since finding a new job in not an option.

Stephanie - posted on 02/18/2009

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my first child was born at 34 weeks, she was healthy as a full term baby but my second a boy was 2 weeks late and i was going to be induced, so its a 50/50 chance really. currently having my 3 rd so maybe this time ill be on my due date lol

[deleted account]

Hello Monica - I am in the exact same situation - my daughter was born at 35 weeks (with no known cause) - same healthy, but just wanted to sleep and wasn't interested in feeding at all. She is three now and I am 23 weeks pregnant - I did ask my midwife if one predicted the other and she said not really and that my first daughter wasn't early enough to warrant any special tests or assessments or anything with this pregnancy. So, unfortunately I don't think there is an exact science to it at all (I've tried to find internet studies as well asking if my first baby was early will my second be early too - nothing). I know in my first pregnancy that I had a very stressful job and had to move house (water broke while packing!) and the say stress can be a significant factor. Not much help from me, but it would be interesting to revisit this page in a few months and update each other on whether we did actually have early babies - I am starting my maternity leave earlier this time just in case! Good luck!

Brittany - posted on 02/17/2009

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I think it depends on the woman and I think it depends on what is going on. Like for me my cervix was dilating and I have thinned out and all of this started at twenty eight weeks.

Teresa - posted on 02/17/2009

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My first child was early healthy and I didn't have any complications and I was wondering that same thing. My son came at 36 weeks and I'm 31 going on 32 weeks now and had to go to the hospital the other day because I was having contractions. My water didn't break so I didn't go into pre-term. Even though nothing really happened to send me into pre-term labor the doctor said that this one may come early because of my history.

Monica - posted on 02/17/2009

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My eldest will be 2 years old this weekend, and I am 30 weeks pregnant. My doc has not said anything, but then again, I chose her because she is so calm. Not the worrying type.

Kelly - posted on 02/17/2009

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I was wondering too if my first baby was early will my second be early too. My son was born at 38 weeks healthy, and they already said they thought I would go early.

Brittany - posted on 02/17/2009

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how much time is between your daughter and when you got pregnant with this baby. I did not have my son early barely but they told me because there had been less than two years between pregnancies it was a risk I would have preterm labor issues again and I did at twenty eight weeks with this pregnancy and i have been on strict bed rest with medications and they are not seeing that I will make it beyond thirty five weeks. I don't know if this helps at all.

Samara - posted on 02/23/2009

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Quoting Monica:

If the first baby came early, will the second?

My first child was born at 35 weeks, is my second more likely to be early as well? There was no known reason for her to be early and she was healthy as can be, lungs developed, she just wanted to sleep all the time, lost too much weight, and had jaundice. Overall, we were lucky. I remember the nurse making an off hand comment that the second usually comes earlier than the first. But I've looked and I can't find any studies, thus I must rely on personal experience.


my first child was a little bit early but my second was nealy two weeks over due i just think that they will come when they are ready

[deleted account]

Hello Monica - I am in the exact same situation - my daughter was born at 35 weeks (with no known cause) - same healthy, but just wanted to sleep and wasn't interested in feeding at all. She is three now and I am 23 weeks pregnant - I did ask my midwife if one predicted the other and she said not really and that my first daughter wasn't early enough to warrant any special tests or assessments or anything with this pregnancy. So, unfortunately I don't think there is an exact science to it at all (I've tried to find internet studies as well asking if my first baby was early will my second be early too - nothing). I know in my first pregnancy that I had a very stressful job and had to move house (water broke while packing!) and the say stress can be a significant factor. Not much help from me, but it would be interesting to revisit this page in a few months and update each other on whether we did actually have early babies - I am starting my maternity leave earlier this time just in case! Good luck!

Kelly - posted on 02/17/2009

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I was wondering too if my first baby was early will my second be early too. My son was born at 38 weeks healthy, and they already said they thought I would go early.

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