St. Lukes Medical Center
Healthy Magazine Center
St. Luke's Celebration 5k and Walk
Zico

Pregnancy Tips

Healthy pregnancy information on proper beauty care, exercise, and nutrition.

Written by Harvard Health Publications

Women are having babies later in life, and many women are into their forties before the biological time bomb goes off, leaving them thinking, "Omigad: I've just got to have a baby RIGHT NOW." The sudden baby urge is a phenomenon that has never been explained satisfactorily, and now, with women starting high-powered careers in their twenties and realizing fifteen years down the road that, in the struggle of getting that MBA, they forgot to do things about getting pregnant, it isn't so much explored as it is attacked with calendars, hormones, thermometers and implantations.

It's safer than ever before to have a late-life child, but Down syndrome and other birth defects do become more likely, and complications that result in injury to the mother are more likely too. The fact is, our bodies are vastly different at forty-something than they are at twenty-something: less resilient, longer to heal. Modern medical care makes it possible for preemies of under one pound to grow into healthy adults, and with today's understanding of the importance of planning, nutrition and supplements such as folic acid, older moms experience much less risk than they did even ten years ago.

If you're pregnant and in your late thirties to early forties, you probably have more inner and outer resources than younger women. You've probably planned your pregnancy, painted the nursery and are emotionally ready for motherhood. You may even have money saved for your child's education. So, with all your ducks in a tidy row, it may seem even more unfair that morning sickness, fatigue, bloating and blotchy skin are dancing attendance on your upcoming blessed event.

It may not be a surprise to you that many of the things you should be doing to stay healthy during pregnancy are also the things that will keep you looking your best, even in those early, wretched and retching weeks. Read on for before, during and after beauty tips for pregnant ladies and brand-new moms.

Don't Be Superwoman.

I know you think you should be and could be Superwoman. You could try, but you'll probably just wear yourself out, and frankly, they don't give awards for Superwomen. If you can afford it, cut back on the work hours, take every sick day, holiday and personal day off, and don't even think about taking a shorter-than-usual maternity leave.

Rest.

Step away from the computer, put your feet up, close your eyes, read a book or listen to music. Sleep doesn't count as rest, by the way: your normal nighttime sleep is also still required. Rest in between meetings at work, take naps on weekends and avoid social events you don't really want to attend anyway by saying quietly (and with just a hint of gravity), "Oh, I'd love to, but I can't. I have to rest."

Let It Come To You.

To assist you in resting, consider having groceries or dry cleaning delivered, go out for a meal once in awhile instead of cooking at home and enlist the aid of those who live with you in things like doing the dishes, putting stuff away or cleaning the tub. You might feel guilty before the baby comes, but once that wee creature arrives, you'll kick yourself for not having pre-trained your family to help.

Exercise.

Take walks, go swimming or take water aerobics. Do whatever activities your OBGYN says is okay for your particular stage of gestated bliss. Exercise is great for the skin, perks up the mental attitude, keeps the kilos down and promotes your baby's health too.

Eat Right.

Obviously, you won't smoke, take dope, use over-the-counter medications or drink alcohol. Pay attention to your caffeine intake too (remember, what Mommy does, Baby does too). Also, watch the sugar. Diabetes occurs more frequently in older pregnant women, and watching your diet can help keep your blood sugar under control.

Stay Hydrated.

Undereye circles sometimes come along with morning sickness because you get dehydrated, and it shows up in the thinning skin under the eyes. Drink plenty of water throughout your pregnancy.

Feel Fashionable.

Buy the prettiest maternity clothes you can find. Subsiding into sweats for months on end will compound any feelings of unattractiveness you may experience. Your body will certainly grow rounder - even around the ankles - but that's no reason to give up on fashion. Fashion loves you and will always take you back.

Love Your Skin.

Your skin color may change during pregnancy, and you may need to buy different shades of makeup. Some lucky women look fabulous between months four and eight: their skin glows, their eyes sparkle. If you are one of these women, count your blessings. If you're one of the other 90 percent, treat yourself to an occasional facial.

Acne Acme.

Some women get acne from the drastic hormonal surges of pregnancy. Check with your doctor before using anything remotely medicinal: your skin may absorb chemicals that aren't good for the baby. The acne is temporary and will disappear once your body's hormone levels have evened out.

Accept Help.

During your pregnancy and after the baby comes, accept help when it's offered. Lots of new moms feel that they should be able to do everything themselves, but in fact, it takes a village to keep Baby's laundry done. Line up a reliable sitter before the birth, so that as soon as you can, you can go out for dinner or a movie without worrying. Let friends cook you dinner, and coerce family members into chores. Fatherly creatures should also be pressed into service when it comes to hourly chores such as feeding, changing or holding Baby. Training your partner in baby-tending does more than get you some extra sleep: it helps Dad and Baby bond.

Article Reviewed: July 18, 2012
Copyright © 2014 Healthy Magazine

Related Articles
Taking Antidepressants While Pregnant: Yea or Nay?
Article Reviewed: November 10, 2014
Eat right when it is more important than ever
Article Reviewed: August 8, 2012
Article Reviewed: August 8, 2012
Article Reviewed: August 15, 2012
What Mothers Should Understand
Article Reviewed: October 1, 2013