People have babies for a variety of reasons including babies’ capability to usher happiness. But unfortunately, only wanting to have one isn’t enough. Your age might be a crucial factor.
Five Good Things About Getting Pregnant Later in Life
1. You are financially in a much better position than you were when younger.
2. On an emotional front you are more prepared and mature to handle the huge responsibility of conceiving and rearing a child.
3. From your career point of view, both of you have an established career that can be resumed anytime after your child is born. You do not run the risk of running from pillar to post to look for jobs after a hiatus in your career.
4. An older woman is also more disciplined and has more self control in being able to avoid food or drinks that might be harmful to her and growing fetus. The late pregnancy is usually a joint decision that two experienced and mature people take and they know how to go through with it in a responsible manner.
5. Lastly, an older woman can deal with stress in a more controlled manner. She is also more interested in learning the intricacies of being pregnant than a younger woman.
The fact that science has empowered humans to decide when they can have babies is both a blessing and a bane. Blessing because, it has made us feel more ‘in control’ of our lives and a bane because just like all other things that can be postponed, we have developed a tendency to procrastinate pregnancy too.
Women who have crossed 35 and wish to start planning their families, read on to know of the potential risks, complications, and solutions to having their own bundle of joy at that age.
Age Associated Risks in Conceiving and Delivering a Baby
It is a widely known and a much established fact that women in their mid 30s are at an increased risk of developing certain age related disorders that have the ability to interfere with their capability of conceiving and delivering a healthy baby. Such pregnancies are therefore termed as ‘high risk pregnancies’. Knowing about these risks will prepare you better to fight against them.
• Reduced Fertility
The biggest drawback of advancing age is its direct effect on the woman’s fertility. A woman’s fertility is thought to be at its peak during her 20s and is believed to diminish subsequently with age. The number as well as the health of the ova produced by a female in her mid 30s dips rapidly, making it more and more difficult for her to conceive as her age progresses.
We can hence conclude that the higher the age the lesser will be her chances of conceiving or getting pregnant. However that’s not all, late conception may be followed by a large number of health concerns in both the mother and the baby in question.
• Health Concerns Faced by the Mother-to-be
The probability of undergoing a miscarriage too increases with advancing age, especially after crossing 30. A woman in her late or mid-thirties is also at a higher risk of developing chronic disorders such as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney, and heart related problems.
Often, these medical conditions go undetected until the woman already conceived. To add to the woes, these diseases only increase the risk of a potential harm to the baby and make both the pregnancy and delivery a risky affair.
Another problem that takes an upward swing is that of the placenta. This vital organ, which remains attached to the baby, runs the risk of coming down and blocking the cervix, a condition known as placenta previa, thus creating some complications for both, baby and the mother.
There cannot also be any denying of the fact the chances of having a normal delivery reduces as years get added to maternal age. It is therefore more common for such women to either have a C-section delivery or/and having to undergo an induced labor. The duration of labor is also usually more in such deliveries.
• Potential Dangers to the Fetus/Baby
The fetus or the baby may also be exposed to certain inherent risks which include – still birth or fetal death after 20 weeks of pregnancy, lower birth weight and increased risk of developing certain genetic defects such as Down’s syndrome and neural tube defects.
Recommended Precautionary Measures
Although getting pregnant for the first time after crossing your 30s is a potentially risky affair, the inherent risks and dangers can be eased or mitigated by taking a few precautionary measures. Here’s a list of these measures:
• Get tested for immunity against German measles and rubella before conceiving.
• Before you even try to conceive, get in touch with an experienced gynecologist.
• Consuming about 400 mg of folic acid daily before and during pregnancy can help avoid neural tube defect in your baby.
• Stop prescribing medicines to yourself. Consult your doctor before you pop in any medicine.
• Start eating healthy food. Foods rich in iron, calcium, and folic acid are much needed during pregnancy.
• If you are fish eater, make sure the source from which your fish is obtained isn’t infested with mercury. Eating such fish can be dangerous to both the fetus and your health.
• Say no to alcohol.
• Stay away from smoking, both active and passive.
• Never give your monthly/weekly prenatal check-ups a miss.
• Religiously follow the advice of your gynecologist.
Although hyphenated by risks, getting pregnant for the first time and carrying it through the nine months of gestation period is not impossible after crossing your 30s.
Go ahead, let your pregnancy be what it is supposed to be – A good time to indulge into finer aspects of life