Midlife Motherhood: Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
50 is the new 40 and 40 is the new 30!
As the times and our lifestyles change, so does the timing around when we are ready to build our families.
Thanks to a combination of factors like careers, finances, and personal decisions, more and more women are waiting later in life to have kids. This is an exciting time in any new mom’s life and one that we all should celebrate—but with the uptick of midlife pregnancies, there are additional factors to consider. Whether you’re planning or actively preparing for your future bundle of joy, keep in mind these common risk factors for moms over 35, outlining how to keep your body healthy during the experience.
Fertility in women begins decreasing at age 32, making it potentially more difficult to get pregnant the older you get. Although most specialists will assure you that a safe pregnancy after 35 is possible, it’s best to talk to your OB/GYN about fertility options—or ways to measure your fertility—along with your personal health and family history.
Things to consider
- High blood pressure. Also referred to as hypertension, this a common side effect for women who get pregnant later in life. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to other cardiac complications during pregnancy.
- Birth defects. These happen when chromosomes are damaged, missing, or increased in a fetus. This reaction is more common among older mothers.
- Miscarriage and preterm birth. Most common in women who experience multiple pregnancies or diabetes during pregnancy, this risk also increases with age.
- Postpartum depression. This condition can easily affect any new mom, but studies show that the likelihood may be higher in older moms who are accustomed to juggling other tasks.
Prenatal vitamins, regular exercise, and healthy food options are all great for pregnancy prep if you want to decrease your chances of harmful side effects during pregnancy.
According to the Office on Women's Health, you should take between 400 and 800 micrograms of folic acid a day before and during your pregnancy to produce healthy red blood cells. You can either buy vitamins or find it in dried beans, peas, oranges, whole-wheat products, broccoli, and spinach.
Make sure to manage your weight, stop smoking, and begin decreasing alcohol consumption to prepare your body for pregnancy. For a comprehensive list or clear insight, schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN and they will walk you through the necessary steps to prepare you for a safe and healthy pregnancy.