Pregnancy after 40 might be a ‘dream come true’ for many women. Though a late pregnancy is a high risk one, with extra care and precautions, it is possible to ensure a fruitful experience. All women are born with a definite number of eggs and they lose them over their reproductive life span. Ten years prior to menopause, the number drastically falls to a level in which fertilisation might be difficult. Besides, it is always helpful to prepare your body to be able to enjoy a successful pregnancy.
Useful Tips to prepare your body for Pregnancy after 40
- Pre-natal tests: Certain pre-natal tests, such as blood, urine and blood pressure are a regular feature before pregnancy. A few other tests such as down syndrome, amniocentesis and chronic villus sampling must be done to rule out any genetic birth defect in the baby.
- Folic acid supplements: Every woman of reproductive age should be regular in taking multivitamins containing folic acid. Folic acid aids fertility by stimulating ovulation and providing essential proteins to the embryo which it needs for surviving. Moreover, folic acid also reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Intake of a vitamin supplement with at least 40 milligrams of iron and 400 micrograms of folic acid is recommended per day.
- Exercise and weight management: To prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy post 40, it is important to exercise regularly and watch out for excessive weight gain or loss. Eating three well balanced meals is crucial during pregnancy. Low impact exercises such as walking, swimming or cycling will keep your body in shape while strenuous exercises should be avoided.
- Give up smoking: Smoking has a detrimental effect on the placenta and umbilical cord. It also reduces the oxygen supply to the foetus, exposing it to toxic substances such as carbon monoxide and nicotine.
- Abstain from caffeine, alcohol and over-the-counter medications: They not only reduce fertility but can also cause labour complications. To prepare your body for pregnancy, these should be avoided well before planning conception as they can dampen the chances of conception significantly.
- Supplement Intake: Vitamin A and D are stored in the body and you do not need to be taken separately unless prescribed by the doctor. Iron and calcium supplements should be taken as per the obstetrician’s recommendation.
- Get enough sleep: Adequate sleep is required to nurture a growing foetus in the best possible way.
- Lifestyle Changes: Take it easy on the job front and avoid stress. Practice meditation or any other relaxation technique as a part of your daily regime. Keep negativity at bay and keep your mind relaxed and happy.
Pregnancy after 40 might sound risky and be a matter of some concern, but with proper care, women over 40 can have wonderful pregnancies without any complications and go on to deliver normal, healthy babies.
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