New Information on Pregnancy After 35
It has long been apparent that there is a safety zone for pregnancy. Women will find that after the age of 25, the pregnancy and delivery process become far more complicated. In some cases, it is unsafe for both the mother and the child, and many pregnancies have issues resulting in pain or death. Between the ages of 32 and 37 women will find that their ability to become pregnant dwindles, this may be a natural way of controlling the negativities associated with a late pregnancy. However, with modern women waiting later and later to conceive, it is important to understand the risks associated with pregnancy after 35 and what it entails. Medical News Today explains: “The presence of high blood pressure during pregnancy increases the risk of problems with the placenta and fetal growth abnormalities. Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) can increase the risk of birth defects, hypertension and miscarriage. It also increases the chances of having a larger-than-average baby, which can cause additional problems when it is being delivered.”
Women over 35 also face issues relating to fetal development, and could produce a child with down syndrome, or have a premature delivery resulting in an underweight baby with other medical conditions.
Creating A Healthy Pregnancy
No matter what age you become pregnant at, you can help increase your chances and your baby’s chances of a normal birthing process by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a good weight as directed by your doctor, eating properly, and sleeping enough can have a big impact on the outcome of your pregnancy. Many women over the age of 35 have perfectly healthy babies following normal pregnancies.
Visiting your doctor for regular checkups, steering clear of alcohol, caffeine, and other chemicals which can affect the fetus will also produce a greater chance of a healthy term and delivery. Your doctor is likely to advise you to take a pre-natal supplement which includes folic acid. Sometimes iron is also advised to pregnant women, who can become anemic during pregnancy.
Not all mothers want or need to know whether their child will have a genetic defect, but those who do can use a screening process such as amniocentesis or a standard ultrasound to see the fetus and examine his or her growth and development. Some doctors will sample cells from the placenta during a process called chorionic villus sampling. These tests are not standard, and you may have to ask to have them completed. Not all doctors are willing to perform these exams, outside of the standard ultrasound techniques, so be sure to inquire on this subject when interviewing physicians.
Getting Pregnant After 35
For some women, the issue isn’t complications which arise after 35, but simply becoming pregnant at this point in their lives. The female body only produces a certain number of eggs, and age can take a toll on the remainder. This is especially true if you smoke cigarettes or drink regularly. Other recreational drug use has a huge impact on fertility as well. Richard Paulson of Baby Center advises: “The biggest obstacle for women age 35 or older may be getting pregnant in the first place. Fertility rates begin to decline gradually at age 30, more so at 35, and markedly at age 40. Even with fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization, women have more difficulty getting pregnant as they age. Women 45 and older rarely get pregnant, even with fertility treatment. Fertility specialists routinely recommend oocyte donation (IVF with eggs donated by a young egg donor) for these women because pregnancies with their own eggs are so rare.”
Once pregnant, many moms over 35 face the risk of miscarriage within the first three months. This is a crucial time in your pregnancy to really focus on taking care of yourself so that you can carry your baby to term. This might mean taking it easy at the office, lowering stress levels around home, and skipping out on some of the fatty foods and caffeinated beverages you are so fond of.
Each year that you age past 35 adds additional risks, making it important for older women to be seen regularly by physicians while trying to conceive. There are tests which can help you understand your ovulation cycle and increase chances of pregnancy. Fertility treatments are also an option with many women are embracing.
Something that some parents to be don’t realize when trying for a baby after 35 is that the possibility of more than one is greatly increased. The romanticized notion of twins may make this an attractive side-effect of late pregnancy, but it can mean further risks during gestation and delivery. The Mayo Clinic states: “You’re more likely to have a multiple pregnancy. The chance of having twins increases with age. The use of assisted reproductive technologies — such as in vitro fertilization — also can play a role.”
After 25, the risk of needing a caesarian section increases exponentially, and this increases again with the introduction of twins, which makes it difficult to deliver naturally no matter the age of the woman. Fertility treatments have been known to cause multiple birth scenarios, not only in the form of twins, but triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, and beyond.
As soon as you recognize the signs of pregnancy, you should see your doctor for testing, no matter how far along you are. Your physician can help you uncover the risks associated with your pregnancy and offer advice on how to make it as safe as possible for you and your babies.
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