How to Deal with Pregnancy in Your 40's in 12 Steps

    Pregnancy is different in your 40's when compared to when you were in your 20's. Our 12 step program will help you dealing with your pregnancy:

    1. Health is very important. There is no way to overplay the importance of good health with a pregnant mom in her 40s. The female body needs a certain amount of calories and nutrients and then baby comes along and demands even more. Mom needs to take her prenatal vitamin and eat healthy foods every day. The additional calories consumed should be in the form of protein and not fats and sugar.
    2. Start your prenatal vitamins PLUS folic acid before you get pregnant. This will help you decrease the risk of miscarriages and improve the baby's health.
    3. Prenatal testing takes a new turn. Women who give birth in their 40s are more likely to have a child with chromosomal disorders. For this reason, the obstetrician will request the mom undergo an amniocentesis to test for Down's syndrome and other disorders that could affect the health of baby.
    4. Start or maintain an exercise program. No matter the age of mom, exercise is essential during pregnancy. Not only does exercise prepare mom for labor, but it can help with reducing the chance of blood clots and swelling. If mom does not already exercise, the obstetrician will be able to outline the best program for a beginner.
    5. Pregnancy after miscarriage. Some women become successfully pregnant in their 40s due to miscarriage early in life. If the pregnant woman has a history of miscarriages, the obstetrician will need this information on the first visit. Miscarriage can happen at any time during the pregnancy and thus makes mom instantly high risk.
    6. The struggles of infertility and pregnancy. If infertility has been a problem in the past, mom may find herself overly sensitive to being pregnant. Just because this pregnancy is successful does not mean mom needs to be on bed rest for the entire 10 months (unless prescribed by the doctor).
    7. Infertility treatments and pregnancy. Pregnancies conceived via infertility treatments have a higher chance of being a multiple pregnancy. This will, of course, depend on the type of infertility treatment being used.
    8. The freedom of financial stability. Financial stability gives mom the chance to choose whether she wants to stay home or go back to work. A pregnancy in her 40s often means mom wanted to be ready for baby both financially and mentally.
    9. Giving up that freedom. While the pregnancy may feel like the perfect gift, mom is used to her freedom by the time she is in her 40s. Giving up this freedom is a small price to pay for having a baby, but can be hard for mom to grasp in the beginning.
    10. Talking with older children. If there are any older children in the household, mom and dad will need to talk with them about how baby will change life. Parents can reassure their older children that the changes are not bad, just different. This is often a good time to discuss chores that can be given to the older children when mom is home with baby.
    11. Revamping the house for baby. As with any pregnancy, the home will need to be given the safety once over. All electrical sockets will need to be blocked with safety covers and appliances strapped to the wall for security purposes.
    12. Find a high risk doctor. You may feel like 20 but your body says otherwise. High risk obstetricians (matedrnal-fetal mediciane specialists) are experienced in taking care of high risk conditions.