When I found out I was pregnant in August 2011, I was excited and nervous at the same time. I really didn’t know what to expect even though this is my fourth pregnancy. Ten years gap between pregnancy made me more nervous than before. In a way it feels like I was experiencing it for the first time but with all the knowledge of having a baby. [I can still remember the pain of labour and delivery]
Through out nine months journey, here are ten things I think you need to know about pregnancy at forty [it sure was different when you were in your twenties or thirties]
#1. Changes in your body : You will feel every bit of it. The pain in your legs, the growing tummy, the backache, the fatigue, the dizziness and many more joy of pregnancy as early as 4 weeks.
#2. Eating healthy food is more essential than before: Eating for two is a myth and pregnancy is not a license to eat more. My doctor’s recommended diet –> breakfast :: 1 glass of milk and a bowl of cereal, lunch :: half or a quarter of rice, fish or chicken and vegetables and for dinner:: either one slice of whole meal bread or capati or noodles (no rice) and a glass of milk. No sweets and low carb
I tried to follow her recommendations but sometimes for dinner I switched to Herbalife Shakes. It was tough for me because I was hungry and I was craving for sweets.
#3. Diabetic and High Blood Pressure: These are the two most common threat to pregnancy above forty. I was glad that high blood pressure wasn’t an issue for me even though I work at high stress environment. On the other hand, diabetic was a slight issue for me. When I did the blood sugar test, the result were a bit high.
#4. Detail scan is a must: If you live in Malaysia, detail scan isn’t compulsory but my doctor highly recommend it to see the detail growth of the baby. They want to see early on if the baby has down syndrome.The detail scan can be done around 23 weeks till 27 weeks.
#5. Watch your weight gain: I never thought that I should monitor my weight. A rapid increase of weight per month wasn’t a good sign. Hence I have to watch what I eat and not eating like there’s no tomorrow. This wasn’t a problem when I was younger. I think it has to do with your decrease metabolism
#6. Find a great doctor a.k.a a specialist: Even though this might not be your first pregnancy, having a great doctor really help a lot. At least it helps ease my worries. She has a lot of experience delivering babies of forty and above mother. From her experience some forty eight years old mother still can deliver a healthy baby. [ at least I am not alone]
#7. Never skip supplements: Now more than ever, never to skip supplements. I took Obimin and Calsium throughout my pregnancy. On top of that I took Salindah (homeopathy supplement) and Herbalife Shake.
#8. Keep yourself up to date with the latest in child care and parenting: I am so glad I need. I found out about the Happiest Baby on the Block and this really a life saver for me.
#9. Keep a pregnancy journal: Since this might be my last pregnancy, I decided to keep a journal. I didn’t blog much about this experience but I do keep a private journal. I wrote every thoughts and every feelings I had without have to worry about editing. I just want to remember every bit of it. I really missed being pregnant and updating this journal.
#10. Dua and recite surahs: From the moment I found out I was pregnant, duas and Quran become my best friend. Here is what I did:
First trimester: recite surah Yusof and surah Luqman alternate day
Second trimester: recite surah Maryam and Surah Luqman alternate day
[I focus more on surah Maryam during this trimester]
Third trimester: recite surah Maryam and surah Noah
[surah Yassin: once a week]
Last but not least (I know, I know, I said ten) but I do believe that planning and be mentally, psychologically and emotionally prepared really helps through out the pregnancy. Know your risk, know your option and pray a lot.