For women who are older than 35 years, the possibility of complications and high risk during pregnancy is always more. Therefore, even more important is for these women to take care of themselves during pregnancy and labour in order to have a healthy baby and safe childbirth in a natural way.
“We must understand that there is a lot of preparation that can help in improving the chances of having a natural childbirth for a pregnant woman. It is important that there is minimal risk of any complications during the pregnancy and labour,” said Dr Mahima Bakshi, Women and Child Wellness Consultant, Birthright by Rainbow, Rainbow Children’s Hospital.
Women with advancing age have higher chances of age-related risk factors as far as the baby’s health is concerned so its better to prepare themselves the moment the thought of having a baby pops in their mind.
“Firstly, ensure that your body is in the right condition to have a baby. Issues like hypertension, diabetes, thyroid imbalance is very common above 35. In fact it is very commonly seen even in women in their 20s. So, try to ensure that you maintain these in a balanced level first. Of course, take your medications under the guidance of your doctor. But also try to control these levels through natural ways,” said Bakshi.
“Once you have conceived, do everything it takes to take care of yourself and your baby,” she added.
Here are 10 things you need to do to ensure a normal delivery:
1. Fix your lifestyle for your little one who is about to arrive. Remove alcohol, smoking, drugs completely from your life and around you. Avoid going to places that can have passive smoking- both for you and your baby.
2. Ensure that you get good sleep. Try some light shoulder or head massages at night to induce sleep or try aromatherapy. Good sleep is very important to stay healthy.
3. Exercise even during pregnancy to stay fit. Consult your OBGYN and then meet an antenatal expert who’s trained in pregnancy fitness. Avoid workouts in the first trimester. And keep a track on your reports and scans.
4. Eat well. No need to eat for two, but eat right. Have small light meals every two hours. Add lots of salads and fruits to your daily diet. Ensure that you are taking good amount of fluids too. And maintain good protein levels in your diet. Avoid staying empty stomach for long hours and also avoid heavy meals. Prefer to have home cooked food mostly.
5. Don’t remain seated for long hours. Take a walk every one hour. Go for a long walk once a day. It will help in maintaining good blood circulation in the body and will also help in improving your stamina for natural childbirth.
6. You can enrol for childbirth preparation classes where a coach will help you and your husband to prepare for natural childbirth. It also helps in making labour easier.
7. You could experience a lot of mood swings that can make you lose motivation to stay fit during pregnancy so keep talking to your husband or a close friend who can also act as a good listener. Vent out your emotions.
8. Step out for some baby shopping. That would act as the best distraction for you from your pregnancy blues.
9. Make a birth plan with your OBGYN and Antenatal/Perinatal expert. And start preparing for it.
10. Incase of existing joint or muscular issues, discuss them with your antenatal therapist who would help in strengthening your joints and muscles to avoid injuries during labour.