You’ve likely heard it mentioned that becoming pregnant beyond the age of thirty-five can significantly increase the chance of complications during pregnancy. However, in this modern era, these so-called “geriatric” pregnancies are becoming much more common. Some moms will be first-time parents, while others will decide to expand their families in their mid-to-late thirties. Understandably, there are many reasons for this.
For instance, some women may want to establish themselves professionally in their jobs and financially before considering raising a family, while others desire to create a family as soon as possible. Both are right, and there is no universally accepted “ideal” time to have a family. Here are some considerations for those over thirty-five who are wanting to conceive.
Risks Of Conceiving After Thirty-Five
Life’s clock is inexorably ticking forward, and time always marches on. However, turning thirty-five does not necessarily indicate a major milestone in life. Rather, it’s an understood fact that there comes a time in everyone’s life when the challenges of labor and delivery become more significant. Despite the best intentions, there’s always a chance of some complications occurring after a certain age.
When a woman is twenty years old, she has the highest number of eggs in her reproductive life – roughly 300,000 – and when she is thirty years old, that number starts to decrease considerably. A woman’s chances of becoming pregnant decrease as she gets older because her eggs become less healthy and viable. Not only is it more challenging for older women to conceive, but they also face an increased risk of complications during pregnancy.
For instance, the probability of requiring a cesarean section increases, as does the chance of having twins or triplets. Oftentimes, there may be some placental abnormalities as well, such as a difficult placenta expulsion after delivery. Abnormalities for the baby (like Down syndrome, cleft lip, and atypical head shape) may also occur beyond thirty-five, although the likelihood of these decreases if you take care of yourself.
The longer a woman waits to start a family, the greater her risk of experiencing difficulties. Of course, becoming pregnant before the age of thirty-five is strongly recommended, but studies have shown that getting pregnant beyond age thirty-five is not a guaranteed difficulty. Most women have healthy babies if they take proper care of themselves.
How To Reduce Pregnancy Difficulties
Conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can have catastrophic implications for an expectant mother, but taking care of yourself can lower the chances of developing them. Extra precautions should be taken before and throughout pregnancy to help ensure a safe pregnancy and delivery.
It is also important not to miss any of your other check-ups with your healthcare provider, as they will advise you on what to eat and what to avoid. They will also advise you on the necessity of additional testing, such as prenatal genetic screening, to keep everything in check. If you are overweight or not very active physically, then try to become fit before getting pregnant. Pregnant women who are overweight are more prone to complications, particularly women that became pregnant later in life.
Maintaining regular exercise and sleep routines, controlling your diet, and staying on top of taking your prenatal vitamins are all things that can help increase fertility. Eating a wide range of meals is vital to ensure you get all the essential nutrients. Fill most of your diet with foods that are plant-based, such as quinoa, chickpea, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
Eating healthy is a priority, and so is avoiding the wrong kinds of things in your life. Stay away from anything that might put your health in danger. While expecting, avoid consuming alcohol, smoking, and using illicit substances. There can be many things you can do and an equal number of things you cannot. Try to take a deep breath and trust your decisions and your doctor’s guidance.
Making Your Health a Priority
It’s important to remember that delivering a healthy baby over the age of thirty-five is still possible. It’s true that pregnancy beyond this age isn’t as simple or straightforward, but despite the increased difficulty, it’s nonetheless possible to start a family in your thirties or forties. Recent developments in maternal and infant healthcare have made it possible to mitigate many of these risks and enable a happy, healthy pregnancy and childbirth.