Pregnancy can be challenging regardless of what age you are, but there’s no denying the older you are, the more of a toll it’s going to take on your body. While many women over the age of 35 go on to have healthy, trouble-free pregnancy, there are things such as Gestational Diabetes, that you need to be aware of.
To help insure you have a healthy pregnancy, here you’ll discover some great tips you can follow.
Be Prepared For Gestational Diabetes
Gestational Diabetes is a common pregnancy complication which can affect women at any age. However, your risk of developing it increases with age. Although it’s only a temporary form of Diabetes, it’s still important to manage the condition in order to ensure both you and baby remain healthy.
It’s a good idea to get tested for Gestational Diabetes early on in the pregnancy if you’re over 35 years of age. That way, if you do develop the condition, your doctor can monitor you closely and help you to manage the symptoms.
Attend Regular Prenatal Appointments
Again, all pregnant women attend prenatal appointments. However, if you are over the age of 35, it’s highly recommended you go for more frequent appointments. The first eight weeks of the pregnancy are the most crucial in terms of baby’s development. Therefore, having regular check-ups will help to ensure baby is developing as they should be.
You might also want to ask for optional prenatal tests. The chance of having a healthy baby does decrease with age. However, it’s still worth keeping in mind that the majority of older moms go on to have a healthy, happy baby. Still, optional prenatal tests can help to give you peace of mind that your baby doesn’t have any birth defects and that any potential issues are picked up on and dealt with quickly.
Ensure You Eat A Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet becomes even more important as an older woman. You need to make sure you’re as healthy as you possibly can be throughout the pregnancy. So, make sure you’re getting lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and Omega 3’s.
It’s also important to stay hydrated. So, make a habit of drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Your doctor will be able to give you a diet plan to follow if you need a little help with what you should and shouldn’t be eating.
Keep Yourself Active
Being pregnant at any age can put a real strain on the body, but as an older woman you may find it especially tiring. That’s why it’s so important to keep yourself active. Ensuring you exercise regularly throughout the pregnancy won’t just make it easier to manage the symptoms, but it will also prepare you for life as a new mom.
Just remember, it’s important to take it a little easier when you’re pregnant. So, while you want to stay active, you don’t want to over-exert yourself!
Take Additional Vitamins
Taking additional vitamin supplements throughout the pregnancy is a great way to protect you and baby. You’ll especially need good levels of folic acid, which ideally, you’ll have started taking before you got pregnant. However, taking them throughout the first trimester will still help to lower the risk of birth defects and other pregnancy complications.
The risk of baby developing birth defects is slightly higher in older women. So, opt for prenatal vitamins which contain at least 400mg of folic acid to help decrease the risks.
Keep Stress To A Minimum
Did you know that stress can make a huge difference to the development of your baby? A lot of research and tests carried out have revealed that high levels of stress during pregnancy, can contribute towards immune, metabolic, cognitive and endocrine function problems in infants.
So, if you want to ensure you have the healthiest pregnancy possible, you’re going to need to keep stress to a minimum. This means taking lots of time out to do the things you enjoy and finding stress-relieving methods such as meditation, to help keep you calm throughout the pregnancy.
Make Sure You Get Plenty Of Rest
Rest is something else you’re going to want to get a lot of. As an older woman, you’ll find pregnancy typically makes you feel a lot more tired than you would if you were younger. Of course, this isn’t always the case, it largely depends upon the individual. However, regardless of how fit and active you are, it’s still important to make sure you’re getting plenty of rest.
Don’t be afraid to ask for extra help during the pregnancy. Make sure you’re getting at least eight hours sleep every night and take naps during the day if you need them.
Consider Visiting A Lactation Consultant
If you’re planning on breastfeeding and this is your first pregnancy, you may want to visit a lactation specialist. They’ll be able to give you great tips on how to breastfeed and the methods you can try.
Many women are surprised just how difficult breastfeeding can be. It can take practice, so it is worth getting as much information as you can prior to giving birth. This will help you deal with any potential issues which do crop up once baby arrives.
Join A Support Group
Being pregnant later on in life can be difficult, especially when you face criticism over your age. Therefore, it’s a great idea to join a support group. This could be a local group, or simply an online forum designed specifically for older moms-to-be.
You’ll find it extremely helpful and reassuring being able to share your fears and experience with others who are in the same position. You’ll also be able to get some great tips on staying healthy throughout your pregnancy.
Overall, being pregnant in your 30’s or 40’s isn’t as stigmatized as it used to be. It also doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have trouble throughout the pregnancy. The majority of older moms have a healthy pregnancy, along with a normal birth. So, just because you’re older it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a higher risk of something going wrong. However, it’s still a good idea to follow the tips above.
Did you have a baby later in life? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experience in the comments below.