1. Get and stay active
Contrary to the idea that pregnancy is the perfect excuse to be lazy, women aged 30 and above should continue to engage in regular exercise even while pregnant. Women with an established workout routine can continue to exercise and first-timers can start with simple activities like walking and swimming. In many cases, engaging in routine exercise can help ease common pregnancy-related discomforts and even result in faster labor. However, routines may need to be adjusted slightly as women progress through pregnancy.
2. Don’t skip prenatal care
All pregnant women should maintain a regular prenatal checkup schedule. But women over age 30 should prioritize doctor’s visits to stay on top of potential complications such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia that might arise. Also note maintaining dental visits before and during pregnancy are important too.
3. Stick to a healthy diet
Even though pregnant women are encouraged to consume more calories, that recommendation isn’t an invitation to eat junk food. Prioritize healthy foods packed with nutrients such as vitamin D, folic acid, calcium, and iron. And remember to take a daily prenatal vitamin too.
4. Get a checkup before conceiving
All women regardless of age should get a checkup before attempting to conceive. But for women ages 30 and older, seeing a physician before conception is a good way to address any concerns and determine if underlying conditions or prescribed medications might need to be addressed before pregnancy.
5. Gain a healthy amount of weight
Depending on a woman’s pre-pregnancy weight, a physician may alter the total recommended amount of weight that should be gained throughout the pregnancy. General guidelines encourage 25 to 35 pounds for women who are a normal weight. Women who are overweight should gain 15 to 25 pounds and obese women should only gain 11 to 20 pounds.
6. Avoid harmful substances
Again, all pregnant women should avoid harmful substances like tobacco and alcohol. But considering that pregnancies in older women do carry a higher risk of birth defects and complications, avoiding the above substances should be a priority.
A healthy pregnancy at any age
While most directives around pregnancy in older moms only focus on the potential negatives, the reality is that the majority of pregnancies that occur in healthy women over 30 are fine and result in women having healthy babies. But as with pregnancy at any age, women aged 30 and older should keep prenatal appointments, focus on healthy eating, and stay active with low-impact exercise.