Pregnancy and motherhood are the most vital decisions in one’s life that radically and beautifully change the later course of life. Sometimes balancing work and too many things at once makes a woman or a couple settle and plan for pregnancy at a much later age. Before planning for a child at or after the age of 35, also known as ‘Geriatric pregnancy’, it is very crucial to know about both its benefits and side effects on the health of the mother and the baby. For that matter, it is necessary to discuss what pregnancy after the age of 35 looks and feels like and what good and bad effects it can have on your overall health, and most importantly when you should consult your concerned obstetrician about your pregnancy and the child’s health, growth and development.
What You Need to Know About Geriatric Pregnancy:
Women are born with millions of eggs that decrease over time, and so does fertility. Geriatric pregnancy is getting pregnant at the age of 35 and beyond. Though there are certain risks involved in late pregnancy, it has been found that in most cases women are delivering healthy babies in late pregnancy, mostly after 35 if they abide by all the late-age pregnancy protocols and go by the recommendations of the concerned experts and obstetricians. If you are planning to get pregnant at the age of 35, first of all, you should know that a geriatric pregnancy, an old term used by medical experts for late 35 pregnancy among women and now known as ‘advanced maternal age’ is a mere myth in the field of obstetrics and gynecology and there is no such concept of a ‘biological clock’ for pregnancy. According to some recent studies nowadays, more women believe in late-age pregnancy and are having healthy and successful childbirth.
Recent experiments and various statistical records in obstetrics science are showing that the basic age of pregnancy among women is gradually increasing. In fact, more women today are planning for pregnancy after 35 and some are even getting pregnant in their 40s and they are both healthy and safe. This trend of the late or advanced age of pregnancy among women is gradually growing because of their unique family planning and work schedules, and sometimes even for knowing their partners and family too.
As your age increases, your fertility gradually declines and as you reach the age of 35, according to recent experimental results you are about to have almost 12% odds of conceiving after trying to get pregnant for 3 months. With the decline in fertility, some risks and complications in pregnancy also increase, especially during normal delivery, in the case of advanced age maternity. In that case, you might require further prior precautions such as screening and testing to ensure your health and the safety of your child.
Benefits Of Pregnancy After 35:
There are some of the most vital benefits of late age pregnancy that you should know as you are planning for a pregnancy at the age of 35 or more. In fact, women who become mothers at a late age (mostly in their 35 or 40s) are likely to have better knowledge about parenting, financial backup for family and can take better care of their children, than those who have a very early pregnancy. The most essential benefits of pregnancy after 35 are as follows:
- Women at 35 are more knowledgeable, well- educated and they have better the financial support so that they can help their children get proper education and financial security.
- Pregnancy after 35 helps you to live longer.
- Your baby will be much healthier with proper immunity, well-adjusted, and better educated.
Potential Risks of Advanced Maternal Age:
As your fertility decreases with your age, late pregnancy can lead to several serious health conditions for both the mother and the child. Some common conditions of advanced maternal age are listed below:
- Gestational Diabetes: Women who become mothers at a late age are prone to develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, which will lead to premature delivery or the birth of a child with an abnormal body mass than usual and thus increases the risk of childbirth and other complications like high blood pressure levels. So in case of a late age pregnancy, diet and blood sugar levels should be strictly kept under control and further difficulties in pregnancy shall be consulted with the health care expert.
- Genetic Abnormality: There are chances of developing genetic abnormalities, abrupt changes in chromosome compositions leading to a lack of proper brain and bodily development of children in case of advanced age pregnancy or maternity in the age of 35 or 40s.
- High Blood Pressure: During advanced age pregnancy, there are high chances of an increase in the blood pressure levels among older women that develops while they are pregnant. To avoid complications in pregnancy, childbirth, and the health of the child, keep your blood pressure levels in control during late age pregnancy and consult your doctor.
- Birth-Related Complications: When it comes topregnancy after the age of 35 or in the 40s, it is found that several birth defects and complications arise in the pregnancy such as miscarriage, still birth, abnormal brain development of the child leading to down syndrome, premature childbirth, and abnormality in the birth weight of the child. Some might also face labor problems and difficulties during birth.
Other health risks of late age pregnancy include:
- Placenta-related problems, when the placenta covers up the entire cervix, lead to defects in labor and childbirth.
- Premature birth and risks of still birth.
How To Take Care of Yourself in Advanced Maternity Age?
When you are planning to get pregnant, you will have to take care of your body and your child, irrespective of your child. Though health care increases in case of late age pregnancy, but if you follow the doctor’s recommendations properly and go by a healthy diet and a proper lifestyle, you can have a successful delivery and a complication-free pregnancy even at your 35 or at the 40s.
Here are some health care tips that you should follow:
- Consult your doctor and seek counseling before you get pregnant at 35 or older age.
- Have a proper routine to maintain your regular prenatal (at least 2 months before pregnancy) care, for example, have a proper and healthy, balanced prenatal diet with greater amounts of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables and consume vitamins and foods (or supplements) rich in folate or folic acid that your doctor recommends.
- Try to maintain a healthy weight before and during pregnancy and cut your obesity by regular workouts and exercises. If you are underweight, consult your health care expert to know how to put on weight in a healthy way.
|Weight status before pregnancy||Recommended range of weight to gain|
|Healthy weight||25-35 pounds|
- During pregnancy, try to control anxiety and stress disorders to avoid complications in pregnancy. Try to practice yoga and deep breathing exercises to keep both your mind and body in proper co-ordination. IF this does not help, consult a renowned therapist or talk to your health care expert about anxiety and stress management.
- Quit smoking, drinking or intake of any drugs once you have planned to become pregnant. This is because smoking and high doses of alcohol and other drugs not only increase the complications of late age pregnancy but also cause immense damage to the embryo. If in case you find it difficult to quit smoking and drinking, consult a therapist immediately.
- Try to get enough sleep. In the case of advanced age pregnancy, a sleep of around 7 to 8 hours a day is very much necessary to ensure the wellbeing of both the mother and the child.
- Get a check of your medical history by your concerned medical person before you get pregnant.
When To Consult Your Doctor?
Once you are planning for pregnancy after the age of 35 or in your 40s, you must get the doctor’s opinion. Once you talk to your health care expert, it will be easier for you to know about the perks of getting pregnant at a late age, what are the possible side effects of it, how this late age pregnancy can affect the health of your child and your body and most importantly, whether it is appropriate for you to plan for a child at a late age. As you receive these answers from your doctor, it will be easy for you to plan accordingly. Nowadays, some studies are revealing that women who plan for pregnancy after 35 or at an older age are more frightened about childbirth, labor and complications in pregnancy due to a lack of proper knowledge.
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