In today’s fast pace life, competition is everything. People compete with each other every day to get further in life. Gone are the days when women were expected to sit at home, and take care of the household. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a housewife. It’s just that, with the kind of exposure and opportunities that women are getting, more and more are deciding to build a career for themselves before finally settling down. Getting a good education with multiple degrees, finding a good job and a life partner takes time. So it is not uncommon for women to start thinking about kids after they’re 30.
The risks associated with conceiving later in life are often exaggerated. Most of these come from old mid-wives’ tales, however, it is no lie that as we age our fertility goes down and some risks become more noteworthy. 35 is the age between being the most fertile and menopause. Pregnancies at this age constitute some risk to health of the mother as well as the child. Women of even 40 years of age can have normal deliveries with healthy babies. But it is wise to take some precautionary measures to ensure no harm comes to the mother or the child.
The first step to take, when you decide to have a baby, is to go see a doctor. This will help eliminate any pre-existing problems that may cause trouble conceiving. You may also need fertility treatments as your eggs may decrease in quantity or quality, with age. Therefore, it usually takes longer to conceive. Assistive treatments such as in vitro fertilization may also become necessary if the couple is having trouble conceiving on their own.
The first eight weeks of pregnancy are the most important, as it is the time during which the baby is developing its main organ systems. Therefore, a steady regimen of prenatal vitamins is extremely important. Monitor your diet and avoid smoking and alcohol consumption. It is not uncommon for older women to develop high blood pressure and gestational diabetes during pregnancy. A high blood pressure can increase the risk of placental detachment or preeclampsia, which can be very harmful to the mother and the baby. If blood sugar isn’t monitored, it can cause the baby to grow significantly larger, increasing the risk of injury during delivery. It is, therefore, imperative that prenatal checkups are regular.
One of the most significant issues with babies born to older mothers is chromosomal abnormalities. Down syndrome is the most common form of chromosomal disorders. Mothers are advised to get a test called amniocentesis, which can tell if the baby will have any such disorders. This helps the parents prepare mentally and otherwise and get genetic counseling if necessary.
The risk of a miscarriage or stillbirth becomes even more pronounced at an older age. It may be due to some preexisting health problems with the mother or complications during delivery. Therefore, care should be taken in the last weeks of pregnancy. Couples should mentally prepare themselves for a c- section as sometimes a normal birth can be harmful to the mother and may cause the baby distress. Low birth weight and premature delivery are also risks that should be kept in mind when trying to conceive.