Pregnancy at 45 means that you are at a high-risk for many dangerous complications for both you and your baby, including stillbirth. A stillbirth, or a baby’s in utero demise, affects 3 million infants each year and there is very little understanding of why it happens. However, here are a few simple things that you can do to help reduce your risk when you are experiencing pregnancy at 45.
- Sleep on your left side. According to a study released this week, women who do not sleep on their left side have double the increase in risk for stillbirth than those who do not. The Australian researchers believe that when women do not sleep on their left side the weight of the uterus shifts, restricting blood flow to the baby. Hate sleeping on your left? Try using a rolled-up towel to wedge it under your right hip, tilting your hips to the left.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Women who are obese tend to have a higher rate of stillbirth than those who are not. It is not safe to diet while pregnant, but talk with a health professional about how you can best control your weight when pregnant.
- Steer clear of infections. Bladder infections, vaginal infection, and even a gastrointestinal infection can increase your risk for a stillbith. To avoid these kinds of infections practice strict dietary hygiene (no sushi, deli meats, wash vegetables thoroughly, etc.), take precautions after intercourse to avoid bladder infection, and be sure to alert your doctor at the first sign of a fever or illness.
- Manage other medical conditions. Pregnancy at 40 and pregnancy at 45 places you at a high risk for other conditions such as gestational diabetes and gestational hypertension. If left uncontrolled, these conditions can greatly increase your risk of a stillbirth. Be sure to follow all recommendations from you health care provider and seek help immediately if you feel that these are not well controlled.