Are you currently pregnant or trying to get pregnant after 35? First, we would like to say congratulations on starting your family or expanding your family. It is such an exciting time!
If you are nervous or concerned about having a healthy baby – know that many women after 35 have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. It is becoming more common for women to wait to start their families. As a matter of fact, birth rates have decreased for younger women and increased for older women. Want to learn more about what you can do to have a healthy pregnancy?
Tips On Having A Healthy Pregnancy
Preconception appointment – Talk to your doctor about your current overall health. Discuss options that may improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy. Communicate any concerns you may have about your fertility or pregnancy.
Prenatal care. Once you are pregnant, make sure you stay up to date with your prenatal visits. This will be the best way for your healthcare provider to monitor your health and the health of your baby.
Maintain a healthy diet. You will need more calcium, folic acid, iron, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients during pregnancy. Eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, etc. Prenatal vitamins will help fill in any gaps. It is a good idea to take prenatal vitamins a few months before you get pregnant.
Weight gain. Not sure how much weight you should or shouldn’t gain? Discuss a plan with your healthcare provider. This will be a good way to support your health and the health of your baby.
Physical activity. Before starting a new exercise routine, get your doctor’s approval. Most of the time the exercise you did before pregnancy you can continue into your pregnancy – within reason of course. There are many benefits to staying physically active. For example, it can help to ease discomfort during pregnancy, boost energy and improve overall health. As well as, increase stamina and muscle strength, which helps with labor and childbirth.
Things to avoid. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. Communicate to your doctor what medications or supplements you are taking and/or ask before taking any new ones. You will want to avoid seafood that is high in mercury along with undercooked or raw seafood, meat, poultry, and eggs.
Prenatal testing for chromosomal conditions. You may want to ask your healthcare provider about prenatal screening and testing. One of the most commonly used screening tests is the prenatal cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) screening. This is used to screen for certain chromosomal conditions in a developing baby, such as Down syndrome.
Also, diagnostic tests such as chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis can provide information about the risk of specific chromosomal conditions. Ask your doctor to discuss the risks and benefits of such testing.