Time has changed more than ever. Now a days, getting pregnant after 35 is more common. People are more educated and want to excel in their career before tying up with family matters. This is one of the main reasons that marriages take place in later years and therefore pregnancy in late ages. My best friend who is in her mid 30s got married couple of years back. She is career oriented woman. To make her family financially secure she worked hard so that they can raise their children with all luxuries. After few years of struggle she achieved her dream job and is working for multinational company at high position. Now she is ready to get pregnant, but wondering how safe it is for her and her baby. I believe she is not only one but there are many women, who are at the similar critical juncture.
Though getting pregnant after 35 may be more difficult than at age 25, but it’s not necessarily impossible. Indeed, you can’t get back your age, but there are numerous things you can do to ensure the best outcome for you and your baby. First you should be aware of the risks associated with late pregnancy and then how can you increase your chances for healthy pregnancy.
What are the risks associated with late pregnancy?
As per Mayo clinic, you must be aware of the following risks:
Take longer to conceive: Women are born with over a million eggs; by puberty just 300,000 are left. As you reach your early 30s, your eggs may decline in quantity and quality. An older woman’s eggs aren’t fertilized as easily as a younger woman’s eggs. Therefore, it may take longer to get pregnant and it can vary from couple of months to years. Try to remain positive, if you do not become pregnant immediately.
Chances of multiple pregnancies: The chance of having twins increases with age. Women are older age, use reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization, which typically enhance ovulation; thereby they’re more likely to give birth to twins or multiples.
Chances to develop gestational diabetes: Gestational diabetes occurs only during pregnancy, but it is more common in older women. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause a baby to grow too big in size which increases the risk of injuries during delivery.
Need a C-section: Older mothers have a higher risk of pregnancy-related complications that may lead to a C-section delivery.
Risk of miscarriage is higher: The risk of miscarriage also increases as you get older.
Risk of Down syndrome: Babies born to older mothers have a higher risk of certain chromosome problems, such as Down syndrome.
How can I increase my chance of conceiving after 35?
Good health prior and during pregnancy will help you reduce your risk of complications:
Schedule a preconception appointment: The preconception appointment is a...
great time to address any concerns you may have about fertility or pregnancy at your age. Your health care provider can review your medical history, current medications and overall lifestyle to make sure your body is prepared for the pregnancy.
Obtain prenatal care (health care during pregnancy): Regular prenatal visits with your gynecologist will help in monitoring you and your baby’s health. The first eight weeks are especially critical in your baby’s development. Early and regular prenatal care can increase your chances of having a healthy baby. During visits, discuss any signs or symptoms that you are worrying about, even if they look silly to you.
Eat healthfully: Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet and eat a variety of foods to get the required nutrients.. Your physician will give you a list of healthy diet.
Gain weight wisely: Gaining the right amount of weight can support your baby’s health and make it easier to shed the extra pounds after delivery. A weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds (about 11 to 16 kilograms) is often recommended for women who have a healthy weight before pregnancy
Exercise regularly: Review your exercise program with your physician. Regular physical activity can ease or even prevent discomfort, boost your energy level and improve your overall health.
Learn about genetic testing: Your doctor can advise you about tests for Down syndrome and other genetic disorders.
Avoid harmful substances: Clean up your habits before you get pregnant. That means quit smoking, stay out of smoke-filled rooms and cut the alcohol consumption. You want your body as cleared of toxins as possible, both to increase your fertility and to provide the best possible home for a fertilized egg. Use of moderate alcohol can harm a developing baby. Smoking increases the risk of preterm birth, problems with the placenta and low birth weight.
Limit your caffeine consumption: Do not have more than 300 mg. of caffeine per day.
Pregnancy and parenting will have significant effects on your life at work, your career progression, your work-life balance, and your finances. But it is truth that time never comes back. However, my most important goal is to empower you with information that will allow you to step into one of the most important roles of your life with self assurance.