Pregnancy After 40
If you know that having a baby in your late 40s or pregnancy after 40 is a possibility, there are certain things that you can do now to prepare for a healthy and happy pregnancy.
While it is possible to conceive at that age, the truth is that you will probably be less fertile than you were in your 20s. While there are parts of the process that you won’t be able to control, there are some things that you can do right now that will assist your efforts in the future. Read on to learn what you should do to prepare for a healthy pregnancy after 40.
Take good care of your teeth. Research has shown that there could be a correlation between the state of a woman’s teeth and her ability to get pregnant. One study found that those women who had problems with their gums needed to undergo fertility treatment more often than other women. Therefore, it is important to keep your twice yearly checkups and to floss your teeth at least once a day. In addition, what you eat can impact your oral health; try to refrain from eating junk food and consuming too much soda.
Take a multivitamin every day, and make sure that it has folic acid in it. Experts believe that folic acid can help with fertility. In addition, having the proper amount of iron in the body also appears to lead to less fertility problems, so any multivitamin that you choose needs to have both of these elements. While it may initially be difficult for you to remember to take the pill each day, try to establish a routine that will help you remember. For example, if you have a bowl of cereal in the morning for breakfast, take the vitamin just before you begin eating.
Eat well: One of the best defenses against pregnancy after 40 problems is a good diet. Focus on fruits and vegetables and try to get four servings of dairy a day. Even though your prenatal vitamins have folic acid, target foods that will naturally give it to you as well. These include green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and dried beans. If you’re not sure what kind of diet you should be following, speak to your doctor. He or she can give you the guidance you may need.
Change up your diet: Certain foods seem to have a positive impact on fertility, so making the right choices at the grocery store can eventually help you achieve your dream of having a family. Avoid trans fats whenever possible and include more whole grains and vegetables. Finally, look for sources of protein that come from plants, like asparagus, spinach, broccoli, peanuts and almonds. While eating right can improve your fertility, it will also have a positive impact on your life as a whole.
Engage in exercise: Aim to work out about a half an hour a day, four or five times a week. Being in shape seems to decrease infertility. Some women find it difficult to establish a workout regimen, so focus on things that you enjoy doing. Go for a bike ride after work, or use part of your lunch break to walk around a local track or lake. Get a friend or partner involved as well; you can each help to motivate one another on the days that you don’t feel like getting out there and being active.
Contrary to popular belief, the right type of exercise is important for both you and your baby. However, only engage in an exercise routine under the supervision of your doctor; how fit you were before you got pregnant, as well as any pregnancy concerns you may have, will both impact the amount and type of exercise that is best for you.
A variety of non-invasive testing is available for prenatal screening. Consulting a genetic counselor can help you determine which tests you should have. Prenatal screening programs that only require a blood sample are becoming more accurate in detecting genetic abnormalities. Non-genetic problems such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes are also easy to check. If your doctor suggests that you undergo an amniocentesis, you must consider the risks of this more invasive test. Amniocentesis involves inserting a long needle into the amniotic sac and extracting a small amount of amniotic fluid for testing. This procedure increases the risk of miscarriage by placing the fetus at risk. A skilled ultrasound technician helps guide the needle to avoid injuring the fetus.
Preeclampsia is high blood pressure that often develops in pregnancy after 40. Gestational diabetes can develop in any pregnancy but is more likely for pregnancy after 40. Placenta previa is a condition in which the placenta attaches low in the uterus. This is a serious condition that can be diagnosed through ultrasound testing and can cause uncontrolled bleeding. Each disorder can be treated. Regular doctor visits to the doctor are important because early detection leads to better medical treatment.
Finally, weight gain is important, but it is equally important not to gain too much. Most women should aim for a 30 pound weight gain over the course of their pregnancy. However, this number may be lower based on how much you weighed before you got pregnant. When you gain the right amount of weight, the baby is more likely to develop at an appropriate rate. It also reduces the likelihood of premature birth.
Pregnancy after 40 is much more common today than ever before. If, due to certain life circumstances, you know that you want to conceive at a later date, follow the steps included here to help yourself get pregnant when the time is right.