Are you thinking of getting pregnant after the age of 35? Understand the problems of a mother at this age, and know what it takes to have a healthy pregnancy.
Pregnancy after the age of 35: a healthy mother and child
If you are over 35 years old and want to get pregnant, you are not alone. Many women delay pregnancy until their 30s and beyond, and have healthy babies. Some special attention may help create the best conditions for the baby.
Understanding the risks
The biological clock is a fact of life, but there is no magic bullet at 35, simply an age at which it is worth discussing the various risks, for example:
It may take longer for pregnancy to occur, you are born with a limited number of eggs, and by the time you reach your mid or late thirties, the number and quality of eggs decreases, and the eggs of older women are not as fertile as young people. If you’re over 35 and haven’t been able to get pregnant for six months, consider seeking advice from your health care provider.
Repeated pregnancy is likely, the chance of having twins increases with age, and the use of assisted reproductive techniques, such as artificial insemination, may also play an important role.
You are more likely to develop gestational diabetes. This type of diabetes, which occurs only during pregnancy, is more common as a woman ages. The strict control of blood sugar through diet and physical activity is necessary, and sometimes medication is also required. Gestational diabetes, if left untreated, can cause the baby to be larger than average, increasing the risk of injuries during childbirth.
You are more likely to develop high blood pressure during pregnancy. Studies suggest that high blood pressure during pregnancy is more common in older women. A health care provider carefully monitors blood pressure and the growth and development of the baby. You may need to take medications or deliver the baby prematurely to avoid complications.
A baby is more likely to be born with low birth weight and to be born prematurely. Premature babies, especially those born long before their due date, often have complex health problems.
You may need a C-section. Older mothers have a higher risk of pregnancy complications that may lead to a C-section, such as a placenta previa – where the placenta blocks the cervix.
Chromosomal abnormalities increase the risk. Babies born to older mothers have a high risk of developing chromosomal diseases such as Down syndrome.
The risk of pregnancy loss, of miscarriage and stillbirth, increases with age, possibly due to pre-existing medical conditions or a fatal chromosomal abnormality. Ask your health care provider about monitoring the baby’s health during the last weeks of pregnancy.
While more research is needed, studies suggest that paternal age may also expose children to health risks.
Taking good care of yourself is the best way to take care of your baby. Pay close attention to the following basics:
Make an appointment to see your health care provider Before becoming pregnant, talk to your health care provider about your general health and discuss lifestyle changes that may improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Discuss any concerns you have about fertility or pregnancy. Ask how to boost pregnancy hits – and options if you have a problem.
Get regular prenatal care. Regular prenatal visits can help your health care provider monitor your health and your baby’s health. List any other signs or symptoms that worry you. Talking with your health care provider may help you feel reassured and have peace of mind.
Eat a healthy diet. During pregnancy, you will need more folic acid, calcium, iron, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients. If you already follow a healthy diet, keep it up. And taking a daily prenatal vitamin — ideally a few months before conception — can help make up for any deficiencies.
Gain Weight Wisely Gaining the right amount of weight can boost your baby’s health — and make it easier to shed those extra pounds after birth. Work with your health care provider to determine what’s right for you.
Stay active. Regular physical activity can help relieve or even prevent discomfort as well as increase your energy level and improve your overall health. It may also help you prepare for labor and delivery by increasing your endurance and muscle strength. Get your health care provider’s approval before starting or continuing an exercise program, especially if you have an underlying condition.
Avoid dangerous substances. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other illegal drugs during pregnancy, and disclose any medications or nutritional supplements to your health care provider ahead of time.
Learn about a prenatal test to check for chromosomal abnormalities. Ask your doctor about a non-invasive prenatal test, a blood test that checks fetal DNA in a mother’s bloodstream to determine if the baby is at risk of certain chromosomal abnormalities. Diagnostic tests such as chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis provide information about a baby’s chromosomes or the risk of certain chromosomal abnormalities but also carry a small risk of miscarriage. Your medical care provider can help you weigh the risks and benefits.
Looking forward to the future
Making the right decision today, even before pregnancy, can have a lasting effect on the baby, so think of pregnancy as an opportunity to nourish the baby and prepare for the fun changes.
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