Mature Pregnancy: Pregnant Over 35
When a woman gets pregnant when aged 35 or above, the pregnancy is referred to as a mature pregnancy.
When a woman gets pregnant when aged 35 or above, the pregnancy is referred to as a mature pregnancy. They face the risk of serious complications that makes pregnancy a high-risk endeavor. The risk is more pronounced in older first time mothers.
As women enter their thirties, they may experience a rapid decline in fertility. As ovulation becomes less frequent, the quality of eggs becomes poorer, and the size and number of eggs decrease. Increased chances of miscarriages and labor complications, such as fetal distress and emergency c-section, are possibilities that older mothers should be aware of.
Having a baby with Down Syndrome or other birth defects is also a common risk in getting pregnant in your late 30's. Charting the data from this Verywell article on "Maternal Age-Related Risks for Down Syndrome and Other Trisomies", we see the sharp increase begin in the late thirties.
From 1 in 1000 at the age of 29, the risk goes up to 1 in 137 ten years later, at the age of 39. Despite the dramatic risk increase, it is worthwhile to note that a great number of women over the age of 35 go through their pregnancy without incident.
See helpful tips to prevent complications for mature pregnancies on the next page.
Medical science has advanced allowing women over the age of 35 generally have safer pregnancies. However, the pregnant older woman must always be aware of these risks and be active in preventing complications. Here are some things the expectant mother can do:
- See your doctor early in the process. Select the doctor who will guide you through the process even before you start working on getting pregnant. Look for one who specializes on mature pregnancies. His or her wealth of experience in this area will give you the security you need to carry and deliver the baby stress-free. It is also wise to consult with a fertility specialist to know what options are there aside from natural conception.
- Eat healthy and maintain a regular exercise regimen. Lose weight if necessary. Being overweight can lead to complications in the pregnancy, so it's best to be at your healthiest before and while you have a bun in the oven. Have a doctor-approved exercise regimen to keep your body in good shape and in proper condition to carry your child.
- Quit unhealthy vices like smoking and excessive intake of alcohol. Go cold turkey and say goodbye to these vices months before your planned pregnancy. If your partner smokes, it is also wise to have him quit the habit to prevent secondhand effects on you.
- Check for and manage other existing health conditions. High blood pressure, diabetes, and other ailments are more likely in older women. Prior to getting pregnant, check for these conditions so you can manage them before and during the pregnancy.
- Follow doctor's orders to the letter. Do not take any instruction for granted. Take the proper medication doses, even if it's just a vitamin. If you want to take anything in conjunction with what what your doctor has prescribed, consult with him or her first.
- Check travel and work plans with your doctor. The stress of work projects and travel can affect the baby's health and development adversely. Make sure to discuss these major plans with your doctor to ensure proper measures are taken to protect you and your unborn child.
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