A doctor’s advice for moms-to-be©GettyImages
Pregnancy Tips

A doctor’s advice for moms-to-be

How to stay healthy during your pregnancy, and the warning signs to watch out for

Mixed with joy and anticipation, moms-to-be may feel some anxiety. This is especially true for those - like older women - who know that their pregnancy is considered higher risk. We asked gynecologist Dr. Carmen Navas Acién of Vithas to explain some of the issues around this, as well as the measures recommended for keeping all moms-to-be healthy and ensure that their pregnancy is carried to term.

From what age can a pregnancy be considered risky?

“Risk depends not only on the mother’s age, but also on her health. But we know that from the age of 35 there is a higher risk of complications such as miscarriage, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, low birth weight or premature birth.”

What checks should a pregnant woman over 35 undergo?

“They are similar to those for a younger pregnant woman, but we bring forward the glucose test that detects diabetes, and we check blood pressure and weight gain more carefully and frequently. Sometimes we also perform more specific and extensive tests to rule out physical or chromosomal abnormalities in the baby, such as the new fetal DNA blood test, amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, the latter two being invasive ones that carry some risk of miscarriage.”

In which stages of a woman’s pregnancy are problems most likely?

“In the first trimester up to week 12, where there is a greater risk of miscarriage; and in the third trimester, where prolonged stress and other alterations in the mother’s health can affect the growth and well-being of the baby or bring forward the delivery.”

How does a woman’s lifestyle affect the baby?

“Early in pregnancy the foundations of all the baby’s organs are laid down, and with them, the basis of their health in childhood and as an adult. It’s becoming increasingly clear that, to a large extent, diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart problems and sometimes even depression can be traced right back to early development, including pre-birth. So it’s important for a mom-to-be to aim for proper nutrition, gentle exercise and plenty of rest, and to try to reduce stress as much as possible.”

A doctor’s advice for moms-to-be©GettyImages

When does air travel become an issue?

“During the third trimester, mainly in the last month and a half to two months. At that time there is a greater risk of premature labor.”

What are some of the warning signs to look out for in pregnancy?

“Bleeding, high blood pressure and early onset of contractions. Ultrasound can detect that the baby isn’t developing as it should or that there’s a lack of amniotic fluid. High stress levels in the mom can be a problem, even when all the physical checks look fine.”

Is rest recommended?

“In all the above cases rest is recommended. That doesn’t necessarily mean the mom-to-be has to stay in bed the whole time, but she will need to avoid intense physical effort and situations that cause her stress.”

Related Video: Pregnancy Meal Prep

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Disclaimer: This information is for general knowledge only and should not be used in place of professional medical advice. Always consult with your doctor or a qualified healthcare provider for advice on any medical concerns.

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