It’s no surprise that good nutrition is a major factor in the health of women over 35 years of age that are pregnant and those trying to become pregnant. There are risks that increase with increased age. These risks might be present prior to pregnancy or during. Some may or may not be affected by nutrition. With effort in maintaining a healthy weight and dietary intake, women of advanced maternal age can increase the likelihood of having a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Women of advanced maternal age have a higher risk of developing Gestational Diabetes and Gestational Hypertension. A great way to reduce the risks of both of these diagnoses is to maintain a healthy weight. “Eating for 2” doesn’t mean you need to double your intake. Generally, women need an extra 300 calories a day during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. The number of calories for an individual may need to be adjusted for activity and pre-pregnancy weight. Talk with your doctor about an appropriate weight gain for you. This extra 300 calories should come from foods high in folic acid/folate & iron, including: fortified cereals, enriched grains, beans, leafy greens such as spinach, and orange juice.
The risk of infertility also increases with age. If 35 years or greater and you are trying to become pregnant, infertility may be a factor you are dealing with. In addition to age, nutrition and body composition can affect fertility. Balanced nutrition and a healthy body weight will work in your favor.
If you are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes during your pregnancy, it will be important for you to control your carbohydrate/sugar intake. That doesn’t mean you should omit carbohydrate/sugar, but you should have a balanced intake of this essential nutrient throughout the day. Your doctor will most likely recommend a consultation with a registered dietitian.
With a diagnosis of Hypertension in a woman who is not pregnant, it is usually advised to avoid sodium, or keep her intake below 2000 mg per day. For a patient with Gestational Hypertension, reducing or restricting sodium intake seems to have little affect on reducing her blood pressure. However, keeping a daily sodium intake at or below 2300 mg is a good goal for all pregnant women.
Let’s face it, the older we get, the harder it is to maintain a healthy weight. If you are concerned about “getting back your figure” after baby is born, talk to your doctor about what level of exercise is right for you during your pregnancy. Maintaining your muscle composition and cardio fitness level throughout pregnancy will be key in returning to your pre-pregnancy self.
September 7, 2011
Thu, September 8, 2011
by Alicia Prince filed under