If you're age 35 or older when you become pregnant, you have what most doctors consider a "geriatric pregnancy." This term may sound a bit harsh, but the idea is clear: you're on the older end of the spectrum for a parent-to-be. Don't let this scare you, though. While older parents do face some bigger risks than younger parents, there are plenty of prenatal care tips you can follow to help minimize these risks and ensure a healthier pregnancy.
See a dietitian
It's always important for people to eat healthfully during pregnancy. But for older people, diet is that much more important. Older people are at an increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and other issues during pregnancy, and certain dietary changes can help minimize these risks. Soon after you learn that you are pregnant, you should meet with a dietitian and have them guide you in creating a healthy diet plan for the upcoming months. Then, throughout your pregnancy, do your very best to stick to this plan.
Get lots of rest
As an older parent, your body may have to work a little harder to support your pregnancy. This may leave you feeling really drained and tired. Don't ignore these feelings and insist on pushing past them. Your body needs rest, and getting that rest will be best for both you and your baby over time. Go to bed early. Make changes to your routine, as needed, so that you can get more rest. If you have to hire someone to clean the house or take care of other chores so you have more time to rest, don't hesitate to do so.
Take care of your back
As you get older, you tend to lose some muscle tone. So, as your belly grows, you may notice more back pain than a younger parent would. Your back muscles are simply not as skilled at supporting your belly, which puts strain on your spine and associated ligaments.
Back care is, therefore, an important element of care for older parents-to-be. Wearing a belly support band can help take pressure off your back. Seeing a chiropractor every few weeks can also help.
Prenatal care for older parents needs to be comprehensive and focused. Talk to your OBGYN for more advice. Above all else, do not hesitate to reach out to your doctor if you're dealing with any bothersome symptoms during pregnancy.
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