Although today’s technology means that women can still have healthy babies after the age of 40, there are always risks to consider. Any pregnancy after the age of 40 is deemed to be high-risk. Some of the common complications for these women can include high blood pressure, which can lead to preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, miscarriage, low birth weight, and ectopic pregnancy.
Understand chronic conditions.
Part of the risk in a woman’s 40s is that this is a time of life during which women are more likely to have chronic health conditions. High blood pressure, thyroid disease, or diabetes can all lead to potential complications with having a healthy baby. For this reason, having a good relationship with an OB/GYN is even more critical.
Prioritize prenatal care
One of the most significant ways to minimize risk is to prioritize meeting with a healthcare provider before getting pregnant. An OB/GYN can advise a woman on specific concerns and medical conditions. In some cases, women may need to make medication changes before getting pregnant.
All pregnant women are advised to exercise regularly. However, most women will admit that carrying a baby later in life can be more physically taxing than carrying a baby in the 20s or 30s. This makes exercise more important than ever. Women who are more physically fit before conceiving often have a more comfortable pregnancy and delivery. Low-impact movements like swimming, walking, or yoga can help improve fitness and reduce stress.
Take your vitamins
All women who are carrying a baby should take a prenatal vitamin. This is just as, if not more, important for women after 40. Try to eat a nutritious diet full of fruits and vegetables as well. This will help reduce the risk of pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes.
Healthy mom and healthy baby
Family planning at 40 is possible. Pregnancy will require an extra watchful eye to keep both mom and baby healthy. To learn more, schedule an appointment with an OB/GYN.