Pregnancy is an enchanting experience and a natural part of woman’s life. The idea of bearing a new life within your womb is so exciting and thrilling that everything becomes trivial during those nine months of your life. While earlier woman preferred to conceive soon after marriage, lifestyle has undergone remarkable change off late. With more and more women inclined towards professional and emotional independence, the idea of bearing a child is largely determined after careful planning. Earlier, the notion was that older women could not conceive or deliver healthy children but these days, it has been found that older women can conceive and deliver healthy offspring. If you are 35 (or over), you need to take special care of yourself and your yet to be born baby. Your body changes with age and so is the case with pregnancy after 35. Pregnancy itself requires all the mothers-to-be to exercise special care and caution during the tenure. Getting pregnant after 35 demands extra planning and care so that all your efforts in delivering a healthy child are fruitful. It would be worth discussing the issues which may be concerning.
1. Biological clock is aging
Women are more fertile when young. When you are born, you have all the eggs whose number will only decline with passing years. Women, within 30, are liable to conceive easily because of availability of more number of eggs of better quality, which combine with the sperms to form the fetus. Women after 35 are less fertile, although the decline in fertility is a slow process and does not happen overnight. Declining fertility leaves lesser chances of conceiving. You can take longer to conceive, may be 6 months or more. Your doctor can guide you in the best possible manner when you realize warning signals.
2. Greater risk of miscarriage
There are high chances of losing your fetus after successful conception with aging. This can be due to chromosomal abnormalities, which your body undergoes after particular age.
3. Conceiving more than one baby
The chances of multiple pregnancy increase with age. Artificial reproductive techniques can be responsible for multiple pregnancies. Therefore, if you are going for pregnancy now, chances are that you may have duplets (twins), triplets, and the likes.
4. High blood pressure
If you are above 35 years, there are chances of experiencing high blood pressure during pregnancy. High blood pressure is harmful for you and your baby and can lead to complications later on in pregnancy, particularly during delivery. You may be advised to deliver earlier than your due date to avoid any complications later. Chances are more that your doctor shall opt for a C-section instead of a normal vaginal delivery. C-section is supposed to be the safest form of delivery, especially for your baby who is at a higher risk than you are.
5. Gestational diabetes:
Gestational diabetes can be acquired during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester. There is an abnormality in the blood sugar level and women with a background of diabetes are more liable to have this. You may need prompt medication if diagnosed with one, along with a diet plan to be adhered to strictly. Elder and overweight women are at a higher risk. It can make your baby too large to be delivered normally.
Many problems faced by elderly pregnant women can be avoided by proper counseling and guidelines from the doctor. You should not be discouraged to experience the unmatched pleasure of giving birth to a new life despite challenges. Here are some tools to your aid, which can help you make the pregnancy experience relaxing.
1. Prepare yourself
The first advice is to take proper care of yourself; any harm to you can consequently harm your baby. You should be physically and emotionally sound before planning to conceive. Try to get an appointment with appropriate doctor/gynecologist. Your doctor will assess you for the feasibility of conceiving and you can discuss your problems with him/her. Once you are ready, continue visiting your doctor as the short but important sessions will go a long way in planning your pregnancy.
2. Prenatal Care
This is very vital for your pregnancy. Ensure that you clear all your doubts, howsoever silly it might seem to you. Place them all before your doctor to explain. Never experiment during this stage as it can be fatal for you and your baby equally. Regular prenatal care is desired for pregnant woman, wherever she is – office, home, or any other place. Try to avoid being alone even at home as you never know when you would want some assistance. The first trimester is very critical, followed by the third trimester. The second trimester is relatively easy on you.
3. Diet and exercise regime
Your diet and exercise needs to be prompt. You should essentially include iron, folic acid, vitamin, calcium, and other important elements in your daily doze. You may need to begin taking some vitamins, before contraception, for the benefit of your baby. Avoid artificial sweeteners. You should have check on your weight right from the beginning. It is normal to put on weight during pregnancy, but there is a limit and parameter depending on individual body composition (like age, height, etc.). Get regular updates from your doctor and report abnormality, if any. Your daily schedule should also include exercising, though not very rigorous. As long as it does not trouble you, stick to the work out. It is easy to get fatigue in pregnancy. Show enthusiasm as this shall be helpful in the long run, even after you deliver. Keep distance from alcohol, smoking, and other things that could potentially harm you and your baby.
4. Genetic counseling/testing
This is important, although many women forgo it. If you have a history of genetic disorder, considering genetic testing can prove helpful for your and your child. It can be harmless to your baby. There are many other possible tests like amniocentesis, chronic villus sampling (CVS), etc. however, these may be harmful, and consulting your doctor before undertaking any such test is necessary. The ultrasound, which is repeatedly done to ensure that the baby is progressing alright, is supposedly harmless, but research is under progress to establish its effect.