Having a pregnancy later in life still has some mild stigma attached to it. Individuals are concerned that advanced aged pregnancies are irresponsible or downright dangerous. However, advanced aged pregnancies can be just as happy and healthy as the pregnancy of a 21 year old.

Women who choose to have a child later in life are more likely to be financially stable, have stronger support systems, and greater mental and emotional awareness – all necessities for effective and responsible parenting. So if you are 35 years or older and pregnant, simply adhere to the following tips to keep your pregnancy happy and healthy:

Pregnant

Pregnant

Get Your Veggies

A healthy pregnancy starts with a healthy plate. However, maintaining a balanced, healthy plate isn’t always easy when you become pregnant. Cravings and trying to master the eating-for-two diet can make portion control and the avoidance of excess sugar and fat tricky. Diets higher in sugar and fat can lead to weight gain that is well above the recommended 20-30 pounds.

To make sure that you don’t gain the extra weight that will leave you and your pregnancy at risk for preeclampsia and/or prenatal diabetes, make sure that you are eating a diet high in fruits, veggies, and lean meats. If you are struggling with finding your perfectly balanced plate, ask your OB/GYN for help or consider consulting a prenatal dietician. Other women who are or have been pregnant may also be able to offer dietary advice and support.

Work it, Girl!

Another way to ward off hypertension, diabetes, and preeclampsia is by having a regular workout routine. Working out can help you keep the extra weight off which can help combat pregnancy related disease and illness. Fit moms are also more likely to lose baby weight more quickly after giving birth.

A regular workout regimen is also beneficial as it can make labor and delivery easier for moms. In fact, the more fit a mom-to-be is, the less likely she will have a painful and long delivery. So if you don’t want to spend hours in a hospital room or birthing pool, get yourself to the gym and don’t forget the strength training! Just be sure to consult your OB/GYN or find a trainer specializing in pregnancy workouts to ensure your regimen is both effective and safe.

Find Some Results

If you’re 35 or older and pregnant, your pregnancy is considered high risk for certain genetic abnormalities. Unfortunately, as we age we are simply more likely to have genetic make-up that mutates. Because advanced-age pregnancies are at a higher risk for genetic abnormalities, prenatal DNA testing is highly recommended, especially for moms-to-be who are 35 years or older with a family history of genetic abnormalities.

By having testing done in advance, moms are able to know the needs of their pregnancy before their child arrives. This advanced knowledge allows moms to better plan and to find any tools and resources they may need to be more successful parents.

Take Your Supplements

Because advanced age pregnancies have a higher likelihood of genetic abnormalities, taking folic acid is highly suggested. Folic acid is the superhero of pregnancies, and in addition to increasing your fertility, folic acid will also decrease your likelihood of birth defects – especially those related to the brain and spine. Women desiring to become pregnant should take around 400 mg a day, and women who have become pregnant should take 600 mg a day for optimum results.

Don’t think that you can’t have a healthy pregnancy just because you are considered an “advanced aged” pregnancy. With age comes wisdom, and a better ability to be a parent. Advanced-age pregnancies can be healthy and easy just like a younger pregnancy – there is simply a greater need to take care of yourself.