These days most women delay to become a mother and getting pregnant by the age of 30 and beyond. The chances of conceiving and delivering a healthy baby are reduced after the age of 30. But thanks to the advances made in the field of medical science, most healthy women above the age of 35 today can have healthy pregnancies
If you are above 35 years of age and want to get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby, there are a number of things that need to be handled properly. Women above the age of 35 who get pregnant have an increased chance of suffering from:
- High blood pressure and diabetes – Pregnant women over the age of 35 years have greater chances of developing high blood pressure and diabetes during pregnancy. This condition can have a very adverse effect on the mother and the child. Also the chances of placental and bleeding problems are higher in such pregnancies.
- Multiple pregnancies – Older women have a higher chance of delivering twins or triplets.
- Miscarriage – Women above the age of 35 years, face a greater risk of miscarriage than their younger counterparts. The reasons for this can be assigned to chromosomal abnormalities, which are very apparent in women older than 35 years
- Fertility problems– After 30 years of age it may take you longer to conceive. This happens because by this age you may begin to ovulate less frequently or are more affected by endometriosis. So after the age of 35, if you are not able to conceive within six months of trying, then it is recommended to see a doctor or a fertility specialist.
- Placenta previa – In this condition, the placenta is in a wrong position and covers the cervix.
- Cesarean section – Older women who deliver for the first time have very hard labor and fetal distress. They have higher chances of delivering through caesarean section
- Genetic disorders – Pregnancy in older women always brings with it a risk of giving birth to a child with certain genetic disorders like Down syndrome.
- Still birth – Delivering a baby that has died before birth is very common in women over the age of 35.
To avoid all these complications during pregnancy, it is advisable that you take proper prenatal care and take on the services of a good health care provider. Even after learning about the risks and difficulties of such pregnancies, you can be reassured that you will have a healthy pregnancy and will give birth to a healthy baby, provided you follow all the guidelines set by your health care provider. Having children after the optimum years of child bearing age of 20 years through 34 years requires certain precautions and guidelines to be followed. Good health before conception and during conception will reduce your risk of complications.
Pregnancy risks in older women can be minimized if you maintain certain healthy habits mentioned below:
- Intake of alcohol, cigarettes or illegal drugs should be stopped.
- Only the right amount of weight should be gained.
- Exercise moderately under guidance from your health care provider
- Eat healthy and well balance food and include a large variety of food to your diet.
- Any intake of medications should first be checked with your health care provider.
- Don’t overdo your caffeine consumption
- Folic acid is a must in your diet- this can be included even belfore you become pregnant. This vitamin helps to prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord in the fetus.
In case of pregnancy after the age of 35 years it is always recommended that you go in for prenatal screening tests. One of these tests is amniocentesis, where a needle in inserted through the women’s abdomen and a small amount of amniotic fluid is removed and then tests are carried out for any specific genetic disorder. This way you can be reassured about the baby’s health.
Pregnancy after the age of 35 entails a great risk for the baby like Down syndrome – a condition where mental retardation is accompanied by physical defects in a new born baby, preeclampsia – a condition where a woman’s blood pressure goes up sharply during the third trimester of pregnancy causing premature birth or low birth weight. Some older women who conceive also have a tendency to develop ‘gestational diabetes’ where in during pregnancy you develop high blood sugar levels. As a result you give birth to large babies making normal delivery very difficult.