4 Ways to Stay Healthy During a Later Pregnancy
Just because you are 35 or older doesn’t mean you can’t have a perfectly healthy pregnancy and baby. It does mean, however, that you should pay special attention to your health before, during, and after pregnancy. Certain health issues become more of a concern at this age. And think: the healthier you are, the healthier your baby will be. Here are 4 ways to stay healthy during a later pregnancy.
See the Doc
As you plan for future parenthood, check in with your doctor regularly. Make a preconception appointment to discuss your general health and lifestyle. Find out if there is anything you should change in order to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. Bring a list of any other concerns you may have about your general health. You should also talk to your doctor about some of the risks of later pregnancies and how to increase your chances of conceiving.
Once you have conceived, it’s important to maintain a good relationship with your doctor and schedule regular prenatal care visits. These visits will help your doctor monitor you and your baby’s health and progress. Your doctor can help ease some of the anxiety of pregnancy, too.
Have Healthy Habits
Do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy. Women need more of certain vitamins and nutrients when they are pregnant, especially if they are a bit older. During pregnancy, your body will need more folic acid, vitamin D, calcium, and iron. In fact, getting the right amount of folic acid before and during the first three months of pregnancy will help protect the baby from having defects in the brain and spinal cord.
It’s also important that mothers-to-be refrain from drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and using drugs. Ask your doctor about any medications or supplements before you begin or continue taking them.
Don’t forget to keep exercising during your pregnancy, as pregnant women can reap many benefits from staying active. First off, exercising during pregnancy can help increase energy levels and improve sleep. And though it may not seem like it, physical activity can actually help ease or even eliminate discomfort during pregnancy. It also helps you prepare for labor by building muscle and stamina. Exercising regularly can help you manage healthy weight gain to help support your baby and make it easier to lose weight after pregnancy.
It is recommended that women get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Good exercises for pregnant women include walking, swimming, resistance exercise, and weight training. Be sure to talk to your doctor about safe exercise during pregnancy.
No matter where you are in the journey to motherhood, getting answers from a doctor is a step in the right direction. Ask questions live at the next Health Chat on May 4th with Dr. Mara Thur, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Abington Health. She will answer questions and give valuable information about getting pregnant after 35. The chat will be moderated Lu Ann Cahn, director of Career Services at Temple University’s School of Media and Communications. Register and ask questions ahead of time here.This is a paid partnership between Abington Health and Philadelphia Magazine's City/Studio