Lifestyle Changes in My High-Risk Pregnancy

As a first-time mom-to-be, I remember the day my husband and I found out we were pregnant. It was a surreal moment that filled us with joy, excitement, and a little bit of anxiety. Pregnancy brings with it many physical and emotional changes. My body changed as my baby grew inside me. I had to be careful about what I ate and drank because everything that went into my body also went into my baby’s.

As an individual who was classified as a high-risk mom-to-be, I knew that I had to make significant lifestyle changes to support my pregnancy journey and ensure that my baby and I remained healthy. Staying fit and healthy while pregnant seemed like a daunting task, but I was determined to make it work.

eating healthier for the baby

Why Women Above 30s are Considered High-Risk

Women over the age of 30 are categorized as high-risk moms-to-be due to a variety of factors, including:

  • The reproductive system begins to change during this period.
  • The ovaries start producing fewer eggs, and the quality of those eggs may also be affected.
  • As a woman ages, she is more likely to develop issues such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, placental abruption, and placenta previa.
  • Fertility becomes more difficult to achieve in women over 30; it can take longer for us to conceive and we may have more difficulty carrying a baby full term due to an increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.
  • There is an increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities in babies born to older mothers.

List of Changes in Lifestyle

We were fortunate enough that I tested positive after a few months of trying. That’s why I wanted to make sure the baby is healthy and safe all through the pregnancy. To do that, I needed to make lifestyle changes for a healthy pregnancy. Here are some changes that I adopted:

  1. Eating a balanced diet: During pregnancy, it’s essential to eat a balanced diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Foods rich in folic acid, iron, and calcium are especially crucial for the health and development of the baby.
  2. Avoiding processed foods: Processed foods and drinks such as soda, sugary snacks, and junk food should be avoided as they can lead to weight gain, gestational diabetes, and other complications.
  3. Regular exercise: Exercise is vital during pregnancy, but it’s important to do low-impact activities such as prenatal yoga, swimming, and light cardio workouts. Exercise not only helps to keep both mother and baby healthy but also prepares the body for labor and delivery.
  4. Getting enough rest: Sleep is essential during pregnancy, and getting enough rest is crucial for both the mother and the baby’s health. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night and nap when possible.
  5. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is essential during pregnancy, and it helps to keep both the mother and baby hydrated. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
  6. Manage stress: Pregnancy can be a stressful time, and it’s important to manage stress levels. Activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and prenatal massages can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
  7. Avoid smoking and alcohol: Smoking and consuming alcohol during pregnancy can lead to serious complications and should be avoided at all costs.
  8. Avoid travelling: Travelling during pregnancy increases the risk of preterm labor and other complications. It’s best to avoid travelling during the first and last trimester, especially if it’s air travel or long journeys.

I know some of the items above may be quite a challenge especially when you’re used to just doing things the way they are. However, I know that if I want to ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy, then I must make these lifestyle changes.

my breakfast meal

It’s Not About Me Anymore

My pregnancy journey reminded me that I was no longer just responsible for myself. I can’t think selfishly anymore because now I have to think about my unborn child. Every decision I make needs to be made with their safety and well-being in mind. So, while it was difficult to make the necessary lifestyle changes, I knew that they were not only beneficial for me but also for my baby.

Doing these things may have been difficult at times, but I knew it was going to be worth it in the end. So if you’re pregnant or thinking of starting a family, remember: It’s not about you anymore—it’s about your baby!

The journey may get tough at times, but with dedication and commitment, you can ensure that both you and your baby remain safe and healthy throughout your pregnancy.

Knowledge and Emotional Assistance from My Doula

I was fortunate enough to have access to a professional doula who served as an invaluable source of knowledge and comfort throughout the entire process. She not only provided me with relevant information regarding lifestyle changes but also helped me emotionally by continuously reassuring me and giving me the confidence that I could get through any difficult situation.

My doula also shared some tips on how to make the transition easier. She recommended that I create a schedule for myself that includes regular exercise, good nutrition, and restful sleep. Additionally, she suggested that I surround myself with loved ones who can provide emotional support throughout my pregnancy journey.

Having a pregnancy doula around made all the difference! Her guidance and advice were crucial in helping me make informed decisions about my health and safety throughout the entire journey.

Also Read: What is the Difference Between a Doula and a Midwife?

staying active while pregnant

Do’s and Dont’s


  • Eat a balanced diet rich in folic acid, iron, and calcium.
  • Exercise regularly with low impact activities like yoga, swimming and light cardio workouts.
  • Get plenty of rest (at least 7-8 hours per night).
  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.
  • Manage stress levels through meditation, deep breathing exercises and prenatal massages.


  • Avoid processed foods or sugary snacks/drinks
  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t consume alcohol.
  • Don’t smoke or consume alcohol during pregnancy.
  • Avoid travelling during the first and last trimester especially if it involves air travel or long journeys.
  • Don’t skip check-ups or prenatal care. Remember to go for regular screenings and keep your doctor informed about any changes in your health.

Video: Pregnancy & Lifestyle Change

Check out this video clip from AllHealthGo which features Dr. Alejandra Salazar, Obstetrician and Gynecologist with Baptist Health South Florida, as she talks about the different do’s and dont’s for a healthy pregnancy.


Taking care of myself is the best way to take care of my baby. Every decision I make regarding exercise, diet, rest, stress management and travel should be made with their safety and wellbeing in mind.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy is crucial for the health and development of both the mother and baby. By eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough rest, and managing stress levels, you can ensure a smooth pregnancy journey. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your lifestyle, and enjoy this exciting time in your life.

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