All You Need To Know About Pregnancy After 35
There is a growing trend among women over the past couple of years to put off getting pregnant to their 30’s and 40’s. It could be your drive to excel on the professional front or your will to cherish quality years alone with your partner before a baby enters your lives. You sure have valid reasons to delay pregnancy until both, you and your beau are mentally, emotionally and financially ready to embrace such a huge responsibility. However, when everyone right from your doctor to your mother tells you how hard conceiving after 30’s is, you are burdened with many apprehensions and fears. You worry thinking whether your bundle of joy will ever be able to see the light of the day! Though getting pregnant after 35 does have a fair share of risks, with proper care and a healthy lifestyle, it is surely not impossible. Here is all that you need to know about pregnancy after 35:
Increased Chances of Delivery Complications – Women who get pregnant after the age of 35 are at a greater risk of experiencing complications during their delivery such as miscarriage and stillbirth which are due to chromosomal abnormalities. Chromosomal abnormalities can also heighten the risk of Down syndrome and multiples. In addition, women who conceive late are more likely to deliver babies prematurely with a low birth weight. This can pose serious health complications for the baby in future. Due to increased susceptibility to conditions like placenta previa, a lot of women pregnant over 35 also have to opt for a Csection.
- Delay In Conception – A lot of couples in their 30’s and 40’s often complain about a delay in being able to conceive despite all their efforts. This is mainly because the numbers of eggs decrease as women reach their 30's. They also deteriorate in quality. It is not just the female fertility that declines with age. According to a review conducted by The University of Otago, male sperm quality starts to decline between the age of 3540, thereby increasing the risk of infertility, obstetric complications, and miscarriage. It may also put the baby at the risk of autism, Down syndrome, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.
- Higher Risk Of Developing Blood Pressure And Diabetes – Another risk associated with pregnancy after 35 is developing health conditions like high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes in which your body fails to produce enough insulin to absorb the sugar into the bloodstream. This leads to elevated sugar levels which if left uncontrolled can increase the risk of miscarriage, pre term birth, and Csection delivery. You may even become susceptible to developing high blood pressure and preeclampsia for the first time during pregnancy. These conditions can hinder fetal growth, lead to preterm labor, as well as a csection.
- A Wholesome Diet – Though we have grown up learning lessons on how a healthy diet is a prerequisite to a healthy body, we don’t pay heed to what we eat. There are days when all we eat is a sandwich, and then there are days when we gorge on a calorieladen buffet spread. It is extremely important to follow a strict dietary schedule maintain overall good health. When you are trying to conceive, especially, your diet must comprise of a healthy mix of all food groups that provide the body with essential
nutrients. Foods rich in iron (lean meats, green leafy vegetables, nuts, etc.) increase the baby’s birth weight. Iron also reduces the risk of ovulatory infertility and iron deficiency in the unborn fetus. Calcium rich foods like milk, cheese, and leafy greens improve the alkalinity of the reproductive tract, thus increasing sperm activity. Folic acid is another important nutrient that your body needs so as to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in the unborn fetus. Foods such as broccoli, citrus fruits, beans, and avocados have high folic acid content. Other nutrients that are important for you are vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc and vitamin C. You must also consult your doctor and take a prenatal vitamin daily.
- An Active Lifestyle – Given that the modern day jobs are highly sedentary, chances are that you might hardly be getting any physical activity. Not only does lack of exercise give rise to health problems like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, but it can also affect your fertility. Make sure to get at least an hour of moderateintensity physical exercise like walking, swimming, yoga and stretches in a day. In addition to enhancing your fertility, exercising also improves muscle strength, mood, and reduces pregnancy related discomforts like nausea and back pain. Also, remember that women who maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy face fewer complications as compared to those who are overweight.
- Regular Doctor Visits – You must speak to your doctor extensively about your health problems, lifestyle habits, and any other factors that can come in the way of your successful conception and delivery. Once you are pregnant, make sure to visit your doctor regularly for constant monitoring of your health, as well as your baby’s development. Take your doctor’s advice on your dietary choices, exercise regimen, and other factors that could impact your pregnancy. Don’t ignore any signs and symptoms that you are experiencing. An early detection of a problem is much better and more controllable.
- Avoidance Of Substance Abuse – Though alcohol, tobacco and other types of drugs pose some serious dangers, couples trying to conceive must avoid it all the more. Women smokers increase their risk of infertility and agerelated egg depletion. High alcohol consumption during pregnancy can increase the chances of miscarriage. Make sure to steer clear of all illicit drugs that are not just detrimental to your heath, but your baby’s too!
Regardless of why you and your partner postponed your decision of having a baby, make sure that now you make healthy choices to ensure successful conception and good health of both, you, and your baby!
Written by: Aradhana Pandey
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.
Last Update: 2011-09-01