True or False: Second babies are more likely to be early.
True. After you’ve gone through one pregnancy and delivery, your pelvic muscles are looser so when the baby’s head starts pushing down, you may go into labor a little earlier, says Dr. Smith. Second- and third-time moms are more likely to deliver in the 39th week, though of course there are plenty of exceptions. "I felt lucky my second arrived a week late," says Ariel Devine, a mom of two from Germantown, Maryland. "During those days of waiting, I went to a tennis match with my dad and apple-picking with my husband and daughter—things I wouldn’t have been able to do with a new baby!"
True or False: When your water breaks, it’s always like Niagara Falls.
False. Though you can occasionally have a gusher when the sac holding amniotic fluid breaks, sometimes it’s just a trickle, and sometimes it doesn’t do a thing until the doctor helps it along. "When my water broke, I thought I was just wetting my pants a little," says Faith Singer, a mom of two from Middletown, Connecticut. "I wasn’t even sure what was going on until my doctor examined me and said, ‘Yep, you’re in labor!’"
True or False: The bigger your belly, the bigger the baby.
True…sometimes. One of the ways your doctor keeps track of your baby’s development is by measuring the growth of your belly at each checkup. "The size of the belly can tell us if the baby is too big or too small, or whether there is a problem with the amount of fluid," explains Dr. Smith.But a mom’s build can also affect the size of her bump: If you are tall and have well-toned muscles, your belly might appear smaller, whereas on a petite woman a belly can proportionally seem much bigger.
True or False: Once a C-section, always a C-section.
False. Because of the low, horizontal incisions doctors make today—which avoid the risk of a ruptured uterus during a later delivery—a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC) is a safe option for many second-time moms. "If you needed a C-section because you failed to dilate the first time, then there is a higher chance you’ll need another C-section," says Dr. Smith. "But if you had a C-section because the baby was breech or his heart rate dropped, then you almost certainly can try for a vaginal delivery the next time."