Prepping for Pregnancy in 2013 Beyond Your 20's?
1/15/2013 12:13:00 PM
While I know plenty of mama’s, I know some women who are putting motherhood on their wish list for 2013! Many future mamas think about what changes they need to make when they get preggers but Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine says don’t wait – start now with changes before you get that bun in the oven! From her piece ,” 6 Health Behaviors That Will Help You Get Pregnant” from Black Doctor, she gives these tips:
Behave Like You’re Already Pregnant. If you’re trying to get pregnant, start conditioning your body and changing any unhealthy lifestyle habits before you conceive. Use this time as motivation to eliminate unhealthy habits from your lifestyle such as alcohol consumption, smoking and any illegal drugs. Ample preparation will make the transition to expectant mom smoother.
· Know Your Body! The best time to start tracking your cycle is before you start trying to conceive. To help identify the 24-36 hours when you are most likely to conceive, use an ovulation test, like the FIRST RESPONSE® Unmistakable Yes/No Digital Ovulation Test. When directions for use are carefully followed, tests like these can help you get pregnant sooner.
· Stick to Your Fitness Schedule. Pregnancy is a marathon. Adopting a regular exercise routine now will help you develop the strength and endurance needed down the road. Stay active and develop a workout schedule to help you stay healthy.
· Boost Your Vitamin Intake. When preparing your body for pregnancy, it is important to get the proper vitamins and folic acid. 0.4 milligrams of folic acid daily are recommended. Folic acid has been found to be instrumental in helping to prevent neural tube defects which often develop before a woman knows she is pregnant. Iron is essential for making red blood cells and preventing anemia and fatigue. Make sure to choose a prenatal vitamin with a tolerable form of iron to reduce the possibility of constipation, bloating and nausea. Ensure you are getting the recommended levels of Calcium or Vitamin D needed to ensure a healthy conception and pregnancy.
· Get Strict About Your Diet. Follow a well-balanced diet containing food from all major food groups. Don’t diet, either to gain or lose weight, because this may affect your reproductive cycle.
· If you think you may be pregnant, take a pregnancy test as soon as possible. The FIRST RESPONSE® Early Result Pregnancy Test can detect the pregnancy hormone, hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin), 6 days before your missed period.
But what about those becoming mommies after 30 or even around 40? While we saw Nia Long and Halle Berry along with other Hollywood women pull it off, what do us regular everyday women need to know if we decide to get pregnant after 30? Stephanie Lucas, a Yahoo! Contributor, gives us some pros and cons on waiting after 30. Though in general, a woman who is healthy that becomes pregnant after 30 should have a normal pregnancy. In fact, a healthy woman in her thirties would likely have a better pregnancy than an unhealthy woman in her twenties. Still, studies suggest that women older – particularly those over 35 -have higher risks associated with pregnancy that include:
-Increased complications with fertility
-Higher risk for preexisting conditions that affect conception and pregnancy
-Higher risk for birth defects
-Slightly higher risk for miscarriage
-Higher risk of developing gestational diabetes
-Higher risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia
After 30 it may be harder to get pregnant in the first place since those over 30 tend to ovulate less frequently, which can make conception more difficult. Also she points out women older than 35 may have a higher risk for preexisting health conditions that can hinder conception and/or complicate pregnancy. Examples are endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes and fibroids. Examples of preexisting conditions that may complicate pregnancy are: high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney problems and heart problems.
And what about the baby? The risk of having a baby with a chromosomal defect increases with age. Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal defect. According to ASRM, chances of having a baby with Down syndrome are 1 in 1,250 for a woman at age 25. Chances increase to 1 in 1,000 at age 30 and even more so to 1 in 400 at age 35.
So what to do if you still want to have a baby? Reduce risks of pregnancy complications by doing the following::
-Get a physical before becoming pregnant; this can help detect preexisting conditions that may affect conception and pregnancy
-Obtain prenatal care early on and maintain all of your scheduled prenatal appointments
-Take a prenatal vitamin each day
-Don't drink alcohol or take illegal drugs
-Don't use prescription or over-the-counter medications unless directed by your doctor
But you know what? I think me waiting made me a better mother. I did not need to be anybody's mama in my wild and somewhat unstable 20’s! Yes, I always worked and had jobs to take care of myself, but emotionally, spiritually and relationship-wise , stuff was out of order. For most women, waiting can provide a more solid foundation and financially stable environment to raise a baby. Having a baby after 30 gives a woman the chance to establish her career before obtaining the hardest job of motherhood.
With age should come maturity – which means better choices, hopefully stability in relationships and the desire to settle down and sacrifice. Kids are fun – but it takes planned commitment to prioritize and often put yourself on the back burner. But the sacrifice to raise a child who can contribute to society and model what you instill in them, is worth it!
Happy 2013 Baby Planning!