You’ve heard that you shouldn’t get pregnant in your 30s, and you’re nervous about getting pregnant in your 30s if you haven’t already. But don’t worry: pregnancy in your thirties doesn’t have to be scary, and there are several things you can do to make the experience as safe and healthy as possible for both you and your baby. Here are the most important things to know about pregnancy after age 35.
All about age:
Pregnancy is a time of great excitement and anticipation, but you may be concerned about the increased risk of complications as you get older. In fact, pregnancy after age 35 is associated with several health risks and precautions that need to be taken both during pregnancy and after childbirth. Women who become pregnant over the age of 35 are at greater risk for developing pregnancy-related conditions including gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure), high blood pressure, premature labor and uterine rupture than those who become pregnant before 35. There is also an increased risk for other complications such as maternal mortality and fetal death due to the increase in advanced maternal age.
Exercise During Pregnancy
If you’re wondering whether or not it’s safe to work out during pregnancy, the answer is yes, but keep in mind a few guidelines. Even if you had been super fit before pregnancy, your fitness level will decrease during the second and third trimesters due to shifting hormones and more body weight. One of the major benefits of exercise during pregnancy is that it strengthens your uterus for delivery by activating more than 200 uterine muscle fibers. The best type of workout plan for pregnant women depends on what your doctor recommends based on any medical conditions, your stage of pregnancy and how active you were before pregnancy. For most pregnancies, doctors recommend 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days. Yoga, walking and swimming are all great ways to stay active without straining your muscles too much while they’re still supporting the baby. And just because you can’t do certain exercises doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty others to choose from!
Diet During Pregnancy
If you are having pregnancy after age 35, it is more important than ever to maintain a healthy diet. There are many resources available on how you can prepare your body and keep yourself healthy during this time. Here are just a few ideas:
A major concern for those pregnant after age 35 is the increased risk of Down Syndrome. Doctors recommend that women over the age of 35 take precautions before getting pregnant by screening for cystic fibrosis or taking blood tests for beta-thalassemia, neural tube defects and other chromosomal abnormalities.
Prenatal vitamins may be harder to find as your prenatal needs change; therefore, research what foods have high levels of folic acid or vitamin B12 and have a plan before running out!
Complications that may arise when over 30
If you are over the age of 35, there are some additional complications you may be at risk for when it comes to pregnancy. Because your eggs can start drying up, you might need an egg donor or adoption and a sperm donor to have a child. The babies born from an egg donor or adopted can still be your biological child as they inherit chromosomes from their mother and father. Women who are over the age of 40 and do not get pregnant with fertility treatments will probably never become pregnant naturally. Also, if you have a partner that is older than you, chances are he could also have difficulty conceiving because his sperm count might decrease with age as well. Another complication that can happen during pregnancy after age 35 is gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs during late pregnancy (typically week 24-40) and does not go away after birth like other types of diabetes. Gestational diabetes can cause health problems for both mom and baby, so make sure to check your blood sugar regularly with your doctor’s supervision.
How to minimize risks?
It is important that all pregnant women take prenatal vitamins with folic acid, but for those pregnant women who are older than 35 years old, vitamin B-12 and iron are also recommended. With age comes a decline in hormone production and fewer eggs, which can lead to decreased fertility. For these reasons, it is important that older mothers keep their pregnancies low risk by maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical activity. Furthermore, many of the medications used during pregnancy can be more harmful as an individual’s age increases. In light of this information, doctors recommend consulting a specialist before using any medications during pregnancy to determine if there are any safer alternatives or if it is best for an individual to stop taking them entirely during the duration of the pregnancy.
Advice for parents-to-be over 30
The increased risk of health complications for mothers as they age is one major factor that many people will weigh when making the decision to try for a baby. The other consideration is your partner’s health. His or her health can play an important role on the wellbeing of the pregnancy, birth and your well-being.
If you’re considering having a baby and you’re over 35, here are some things you need to know: 1) The risks associated with pregnancy increase with age because women have a higher chance of developing high blood pressure or diabetes during pregnancy which may require more intensive monitoring 2) Blood flow slows as you get older which also makes labor longer and more difficult. Plus, childbirth could potentially lead to tears that are harder to heal.