With today’s medical advances, women can conceive well into their forties. There are many reasons why women wait until their forties to get pregnant. An increasing amount of women with busy lives and careers choose to hold off starting a family, while others already have had children, but decide to have another one later on in life. While women over forty are perfectly capable of having healthy babies, there are still some steps you should take if you are considering getting pregnant in your forties, in order to minimize risks.
Before you conceive, make sure your body is in good shape. While all moms-to-be should be exercising, it is especially important for women in their forties to be the picture of health before becoming pregnant. Technological advances make everything easier, but it is still a fact of life that a woman in her forties needs to try much harder to stay in shape than a woman in her twenties or thirties. The healthier you are, the easier it will be to conceive with less of a risk of complications.
See a Doctor
Before becoming pregnant, check with your doctor to make sure you are in good condition to carry a child, and to make a plan for how to optimize you and your baby’s health. While this may seem obvious, pre-conception doctor visits are especially important for women in their forties. Be sure to choose a doctor who is skilled in pregnancy for women in their forties. If you had not initially plan on becoming pregnant, and didn’t have the opportunity to consult with a doctor beforehand, see one right away to make sure you are on the best track possible
Excellent prenatal care is necessary for all pregnancies, but especially important for women in their forties, as risks in pregnancy go up the older you get. Make sure you are not taking any medications or herbal supplements before getting the okay from your doctor. Abstain one hundred percent from smoking and drinking- this may also seem obvious, but a forty-something year old woman has much less leeway than a younger mom. Have your doctor recommend prenatal vitamins and any medications necessary to optimize your pregnancy. Women in their forties have a much higher risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes during pregnancy. Also, be sure to get prenatal screening tests to foresee any complications.
As previously mentioned, it is especially important to be as healthy as possible before and during your pregnancy. Make sure you are eating as healthfully as possible- be sure to discuss your diet with your doctor. Also, it is essential to put on a sufficient amount of weight during your pregnancy, so while you should be eating well, also eat plentifully.
Last but not least, when having a baby later in life, it is incredibly important to plan for the future, both for yourself and your baby. Remember that your child is going to need his or her mother to be healthy and to be around for a long time. The healthy eating and exercise shouldn’t end after you give birth- make this a life long habit. As you get older, parenting does become more difficult, so try to foresee any problems that may arise.. How old will you be when they start school? What about when they are in high school? Where will you be in your life when you child is grown up and ready to start a family of his or her own? Asking yourself these questions may not be fun, but it is super important to be prepared and not let time sneak up on you. Make a plan for how you can be a healthy, active, and present parent.