During pregnancy, women are often focused on getting enough folic acid, taking their prenatal vitamins, and getting their vitamin D levels checked. But, what about your cholesterol? It’s something that doesn’t seem to come up as often as it should. So, what should your cholesterol levels during pregnancy be? Let’s find out!
Pregnancy and Cholesterol
If you’ve struggled with high cholesterol levels before becoming pregnant, you’ve probably found that they are fairly easy to manage with medications. But, now that you’re carrying a child, those medications might not be an option. Cholesterol levels during pregnancy are naturally higher during the second and third trimesters in order to support your growing fetus and milk production. That’s fine if your cholesterol levels are normal, but for women who are already struggling, it could be concerning.
High cholesterol levels during pregnancy can put you at a greater risk for developing:
- Heart Disease
- Type II Diabetes
There are risks for the baby as well; studies show that infants whose mothers had high cholesterol levels during pregnancy were five times more likely to have high cholesterol as adults. That’s why it’s so important to get checked, and practice natural ways to reduce your cholesterol without medication.
Risky Cholesterol Levels During Pregnancy
Your doctor should monitor your cholesterol levels during pregnancy, especially if you have a history of high HDL. Concerning levels that may put you and your baby at risk are:
- LDL: greater than 160mg/dL
- HDL: less than 40 mg/dL
- Total Cholesterol: greater than 200 mg/dL
- Triglycerides: greater than 150 mg/dL
How to Reduce Cholesterol
Many of the cholesterol lowering medications you take while you’re not pregnant can have harmful effects on your growing fetus, so it’s best to avoid them. Instead, there are several natural ways you can effectively reduce your cholesterol levels during pregnancy. They include:
- Increasing Physical Activity – Try to get 30 minutes of exercise daily
- Taking Omega 3 Supplements
- Eating Healthy Fats from Avocado and Nuts
- Avoiding Fried Food and Saturated Fats
- Limit Sugar, Especially Processed Sugar
- Increase Your Fiber Though Supplements and Vegetables
Maintaining a healthy diet and getting regular exercise can make all the difference in the world when trying to regulate cholesterol levels during pregnancy. It takes a little bit of effort and some lifestyle change, but it’s totally worth it, and will hopefully be continued even after your have your baby.
If you’re looking for natural supplements that will help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels already in the normal range, try brands like NOW Foods, Twinlab, and Utzy Naturals. Before using supplements, be sure to consult with your OB/GYN.
How did you keep your cholesterol down during pregnancy? Tell us your tricks in the comments below!