Age is just a number, or so people will have you believe! For most women over thirty, the clock feels like a ticking time bomb! Life seems to be rushing past. The best years may seem to have fallen behind, with middle age looming large. Age may just be a number, but it does take a toll on the body!
If you are 35 years old or more, and are planning to have a baby, it is normal to feel anxious. Society tells us time and again that becoming a mother late in life is not a good idea. There are a number of horror stories about medical problems that accompany late pregnancies. But is there some truth to these rumors? Does ‘age’ really take a toll on pregnancy? Does age affect pregnancy at all? If these are the questions that are keeping you awake at night, we have the answers for you, right here!
How Does Age Affect Pregnancy:
Let’s get the bad news out first.Yes, age can affect a pregnancy adversely. Here’s a look at how age affects pregnancy:
1. Diabetes And High Blood Press
Women, who get pregnant between the age of 35 and 39 years, are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure and gestational diabetes (1).
2. Ectopic Pregnancy:
Ectopic pregnancy is a condition where the fertilized embryo attaches itself outside the uterus, making survival impossible. Women over 35 are more likely to experience this heartbreaking condition (2).
3. Miscarriage And Stillbirth:
Losing a baby because she is too young to survive outside your womb is devastating. Unfortunately, the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth goes up sharply after you turn 35 (3).
4. Chromosomal Conditions:
The older you are, the higher are the chances of your baby suffering from chromosomal conditions like Down’s Syndrome (4).
5. Difficult Childbirth:
Labor and childbirth are almost like fighting a battle. Advanced maternal age can make this battle that much more difficult. Women over 35 are more likely to need medical interventions like induction or even a c-section (5).
So, as you can see, age does have an impact on pregnancy. But that does not mean you have to give up your dream of becoming a mother!
[ Read: Pros And Cons Of Getting Pregnant In Your 30s ]
Tips To Manage A Late Pregnancy:
If you have are planning to start a family a tad late, don’t worry! Here are a few tips to help you manage your pregnancy better:
1. Prenatal Vitamins Are Vital:
No, prenatal vitamins are not an option. It is important that all pregnant women take their prenatal pills seriously. But if age is not on your side, taking these pills becomes doubly important for you.
2. Go For Regular Checkups:
Make your doctor your best friend when you are pregnant. Advanced maternal age immediately puts you in the ‘high-risk pregnancy’ category. So see your doctor regularly so that he can keep a close eye on your health.
3. Work On Your Health:
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, work to resolve it or at least keep it under control while you are pregnant.
4. Take Care Of Your Weight:
If you are overweight, try and lose a few pounds before you get pregnant. All the extra weight can cause complication during your pregnancy.
5. Eat Well:
When you are pregnant, the food you eat has a huge impact on your health. It is no different for pregnant women over 35! So eat a balanced diet and make sure you are getting all the essential nutrients.
6. Exercise Regularly:
Talk to your doctor and plan a workout that suits you. And be regular. You need the exercise to allow your body to go through pregnancy and childbirth smoothly.
7. Set A Sleep Schedule:
You need to sleep well. Now will be a great time to set a sleep schedule. To get plenty of rest remove all the distractions from your bedroom. Shift the TV and leave your laptop and mobile in the living room.
8. Get Some Shots:
You thought vaccinations were over for you? Not at all! Pregnancy can make your immune system weak. So make sure you get all the prerequisite vaccine shots, and that includes a flu shot.
9. Say No To Substance Abuse:
If you smoke or drink, now will be the perfect time to quit. Poor lifestyle habits can take a toll on your health and immunity especially during pregnancy.
10. Don’t Stress:
It is normal to feel anxious about the changes taking place inside your body. But don’t let these thoughts take over your mind. Try and keep stress at the minimal. Try meditation to find some peace of mind!
Age may take a toll on your body, but your mind is the boss! So, let go of the negative thoughts that come with advanced maternal age and embrace your pregnancy. With a little care, you can go through pregnancy with little or no problems. All you need is a little self-love!
Are you an older mother? How does age affect pregnancy ? Did this question trouble you too? Did you experience difficulties during your pregnancy? Share your experience with us!
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