Many women nowadays have chosen to delay pregnancy later in life. Although pregnancy at the age of 35 and beyond is very much possible, it can also mean greater risks for a woman, and her unborn child. A woman needs to understand the risks, so that she can better prepare for any complications during her pregnancy.
Women may find it harder to conceive during this time because she may be ovulating less frequently. If you are unable to conceive after six months of trying, consult your health care provider. A multiple pregnancy may also occur because of the hormonal changes, which can lead to the release of more than one egg at a time. Some women, who resort to in vitro fertilization, may also have a multiple pregnancy because it generally enhances ovulation.
The risk of pregnancy complications may also be higher, for women who are 35 years old and older. There is an increased likelihood of pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, and placenta previa. Aside from that, a woman may also have an increased risk for miscarriage, as well as chromosomal abnormalities. For first time mothers at this age, the risk for cesarean births may also be higher.
Because the risks are greater, it is then essential that you take steps to reduce the risk of complications during your pregnancy. Ensuring that you are in good health, long before you are trying to conceive, and during your pregnancy, may help in reducing the complications.
It may be wise to see your health care provider for a preconception appointment. This is necessary so that you can have proper evaluation prior to your pregnancy. Your doctor needs to assess your overall health, so that he can address issues that may hinder conception. Your doctor may even suggest lifestyle changes, which may help improve your chances of having a successful pregnancy.
During your pregnancy, it is very important that you religiously have prenatal check-ups. Since your pregnancy may be at higher risk for complications, your doctor needs to closely monitor not only your health, but also your baby’s development inside the womb. If you feel any troubling symptoms, contact your health care provider right away.
It is also essential that you consume the right amount of nutrients during your pregnancy. Eat foods high in folic acid, calcium, protein, iron, and other nutrients, to support the needs of your growing baby. Taking folic acid supplements months before you are trying to conceive, may also be helpful in trying to reduce the risks during your pregnancy.
It is also crucial that you monitor your weight gain throughout your pregnancy. If you have a normal pre-pregnancy weight, the recommended weight gain during pregnancy is between 25 to 35 pounds. If you are already overweight prior to your pregnancy, work with your health care provider so that you can be guided with your diet, and you can safely prevent any complications.
Exercise may not be recommended to some individuals during pregnancy. It is then vital that you get your doctor’s approval before you start exercising. If you are allowed to have some physical activity, know your limitations, and try to choose a safe exercise routine. Pregnant women can benefit from exercise during pregnancy, and it can also help women prepare for labor and delivery.
There is also a need to avoid substances that may harm your unborn child. Do not attempt to smoke, or drink alcoholic beverages during your pregnancy. Likewise, illicit drugs should never be used because it can be harmful to your baby. Even certain medications may have teratogenic effects. Thus, it is very important to consult your doctor before you take any medications.
Pregnancy after the age of 35 may require close monitoring by your health care provider. Since the possibility of having complications is higher, work closely with your doctor so that you can have the best chance of having a safe and healthy pregnancy.