While pregnancy over the age of 35 understandably involves a lot of safety issues, many women at this age today are getting pregnant and delivering healthy babies.
Understand the risks
First, you have to understand certain risks. When your biological clock hits 35, it takes longer for you to get pregnant because of the reduction of egg cells in your reproductive system. Even though you still have regular menstrual periods, your ovulation period declines. If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for six months and haven’t had any success, be sure to consult your health care provider regarding this. Ironically, the chances of getting pregnant with twins increases as you get older. This is particularly true if you make use of reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization.
Getting pregnant at this age also increases risk of developing gestational diabetes. This type of diabetes, which occurs only when a woman is pregnant, becomes more common as women age. It is a must to be checked up for this condition and to undergo immediate treatment. Otherwise the baby may grow larger than he/she should and cause injuries during delivery. Apart from these, other risks that you need to be aware of include having a C-section, chromosome abnormalities, and miscarriage.
Consult your doctor
Even before you attempt to get pregnant, it is imperative to make a preconception appointment with your doctor. This will improve your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby. Once you do get pregnant, continue seeking regular prenatal care with your obstetrician. This is very important so that your doctor can monitor both your health and that of your child.
Have a healthy diet
Like most moms-to-be, it is imperative to consume all the necessary nutrients, as advised by your doctor. Eat foods that are rich in folic acid, calcium, iron, protein, and vitamins, as these are the primary nutrients that any conceiving mother needs to help her baby develop healthily.
Be physically active
Unless your doctor says otherwise, it is a must for you to engage in regular physical activity that will help you prepare for the arduous labor and childbirth. While you don’t need to sweat into an overly rigorous training that can pose a threat to your child, you would do good with constant brisk walking and other forms of light but consistent exercise.
Stay away from risky substances
It doesn’t matter what age you are; when you’re pregnant, you need to steer clear of alcohol, cigarettes, and prohibited drugs. Even a little alcohol can hurt your little one. Smoking, meanwhile, can increase risk of premature birth, placenta problems, and low birth weight, among many others. Use of prohibited drugs is of course completely off-limits for anyone, even those who are not pregnant.
Getting pregnant can be such a joy. It’s even lovelier when you finally have your child to hold and love. Just make sure that you do all the right things during pregnancy so that even if you’re already over 35, you can build a safety defense against all the harmful risks you and your baby might encounter.