So, you’ve made the decision to have a baby? Now what? Well yes, there is that important little factor known as intercourse that’s involved, but just how can you prepare for pregnancy after 30 before you even start mattress dancing?
Book an appointment with your GP
The first thing I did before we started trying for a baby was to see my doctor and ask her how to prepare for pregnancy after 30 and get a general health check done. Its important to make sure you have things like your papsmear up to date to screen for cervical cancer as you won’t be getting these things done while you’re pregnant and just give the old body a once over to see if there are any red flags. For me this included a blood test to see how all my vitamin levels were doing and check that all my vaccinations were covered. We also discussed any family history of health problems or pregnancy complications that may affect my pregnancy.
Lucky for me I got the tick of approval for vaccine coverage but unfortunately my bloods showed I was low in iron and vitamin D, even though I seemingly had a healthy lifestyle and diet, so I had to undergo further testing in this area which I’ll talk more about in another post. Depending on the type of birth control you might have been using, this is also a good time to discuss how to prepare for pregnancy after 30 by safely coming off contraception. For me, I was just using the contraceptive pill so it was as easy as stopping taking them and waiting for my cycle to regulate.
Visit the dentist
I have to say this is one thing I did not do in the recommended steps on how to prepare for pregnancy after 30. I’m a massive chicken when it comes to visiting the dentist so I ignored this advice. As it turns out, I got through my pregnancy without any issues but gum disease has been associated with pre-term labour and its also not recommended to get dental work and x-rays etc done whilst pregnant so it is a good idea to get a healthy mouth sorted in order to prepare for pregnancy after 30.
How to Prepare the Body for Pregnancy After 30
There are some important steps you can take to ensure optimal health before you start trying to conceive. Here are my tops tips for how to prepare your body for pregnancy after 30.
As I mentioned earlier, in my health check I discovered I was deficient in iron and vitamin D so I began to take some supplements to make up for this. Regardless of whether you are deficient or not, an important step in preparing the body for pregnancy after 30 is to take a vitamin specifically tailored for woman trying to get pregnant. For me, this was Elevit, but there are plenty of brands on the market and your GP should be able to recommend one for you if you are unsure. The main thing you’re looking for is that your supplement contains Folic Acid which has been shown to reduce neural tube defects such as spina bifida. The first few weeks after conception are said to be when baby is developing vital organs so it’s important to be already taking a supplement before you start trying as most woman don’t know they are pregnant until its already after this critical stage and it can also take time to build up the required levels that your body needs. I took Elevit throughout my pregnancy as well as my additional vitamins in order to ensure my body was best prepared for pregnancy after 30.
And the vitamins aren’t just for mum. I had my husband start taking Menevit three months before we started trying in order to prepare his body for pregnancy after 30 and up until we had a confirmed pregnancy. These male fertility vitamins are meant to help maintain healthy sperm. The makers claim the antioxidants it contains can improve sperm swimming and sperm-egg joining and can also protect against DNA damage.
I wouldn’t say my diet was too bad to begin with but when looking at how to prepare the body for pregnancy after 30, I thought it was important to ensure I was eating really well and cutting out some things. I stopped drinking alcohol except for the occasional glass on the weeks I would find out I wasn’t pregnant that month. I wasn’t a smoker, but definitely tried to minimise my exposure to second and third hand smoke. And I eliminated caffeine from my diet. For me this wasn’t so hard as I wasn’t a coffee drinker, but I did enjoy a weekly can of Coke or two. Caffeine has actually been shown to be perfectly fine to continue consuming during pregnancy, so for me it was just a personal decision that I wanted to minimise any chemicals I put into my body and passed onto my baby. Its also time to start thinking about foods you may not want to consume anymore due to higher chances of dangerous bacteria e.g. soft cheeses but I’ll talk more on that in another post.
Weight and Fitness routine
I was already at a healthy weight so didn’t have to worry about this one, but its recommended that you get to within a healthy weight range in order to prepare the body for pregnancy after 30. Pregnancy is also not a time to be starting a new fitness routine so make sure you’re already doing any exercise you want to do throughout your pregnancy. For me, it was my weekly barre class and occasional walks with the dog, which I kept up through most of my pregnancy. This goes for your partner too as his health and fitness can affect sperm health.
There are a few toxins to be mindful of once you start preparing for pregnancy after 30. Things like cat litter eg cat litter, paint, cleaning products or any chemical-based product really. If you have a cat, it is recommended that you get someone else to do this job during your pregnancy. We were moving out of our house a few months after bub was due so we didn’t end up doing any painting for the nursery. As far as cleaning, I was lucky enough to have a cleaner every fortnight due to working full time and if I needed hard chemical stuff done outside her duties then I got hubby to do it; things like oven cleaners and shower gels. You probably know the ones because you practically choke when you use them on a normal basis. Another option is to look into more natural cleaning products such as vinegar, bi-carbonate soda and tea tree oil.