Over Thirty-five And Pregnant

In an ideal world, pregnancy is a joyous time filled with expectations and the wonder of creation. But today, more and more women are waiting until the last seconds of their biological clocks tick loud and clear before taking the pregnancy plunge. Though there are many valid reasons for waiting a bit longer to have a baby, being pregnant over the age of 35 means you've stepped into the high-risk category of pregnancy.

The realization that your pregnancy is considered high-risk can suck all the joy out of the experience and fill you with fears of all kinds of complications. The truth of the matter is that women over the age of 35 are less fertile. When a woman does succeed in conceiving, the mother and baby are at greater risk for complications. Women over 35 are more prone to miscarriages, deliver babies with low birth weights or birth defects, early delivery, placenta previa, and tubal pregnancy. 

Preconception Consultation

Minimize the risks by scheduling a preconception consultation with your doctor to discuss any preexisting conditions you may have. If you suffer from high blood pressure or diabetes, for instance, you'll need careful monitoring to ensure your condition doesn't harm your pregnancy. If you find that 6 months of TTC (trying to conceive) fails to yield a pregnancy, revisit your doctor to talk about your fertility treatment options.

Older woman trying to have babies are prone to miscarriages, most of which occur in early pregnancy. A miscarriage can occur before a woman is aware she is pregnant. As women age, the likelihood of gestating an embryo with a chromosomal abnormality increases and nature's way of handling such an occurrence is to clear out the embryo by way of miscarriage.

Miscarriage is painful for the body and the mind. It may take a while for you to feel whole again. It is recommended to wait until you feel better, in every way, before you try getting pregnant again.

Chromosomal Defects

Down syndrome is one example of a birth defect that is typical in women who have babies after the age of 35. Down syndrome and other such birth defects are the result of chromosomal abnormalities. Older pregnant women are well-advised to have prenatal testing to rule out such disorders. If your baby is cleared for chromosomal defects, you have a great chance of giving birth to a normal, healthy child.

In placenta previa, the placenta is attached so low in the uterus that it covers up the opening of the cervix. The main symptom is cramping and bleeding. Caesarean section is the recommended method of delivery in the case of a placenta previa.

In tubal or ectopic pregnancies, the egg implants outside the uterus, most often inside a fallopian tube. As the baby and placenta develop and grow, the fallopian tube, not meant to expand or harbor life, is in danger of erupting; a dire situation for the mother's health and a sure form of miscarriage.

Preexisting Conditions

Low birth weight babies and early delivery are common in over-thirty-fives regardless of whether or not the mother has any preexisting conditions. Women having their first child have the highest risk for these complications, and babies tend to weigh less than five and a half pounds and be born before the thirty-seventh week of pregnancy.

While all of these issues should generate concern and attention, good prenatal care and a healthy diet should ward off most complications. A woman over the age of 35 can have every expectation of delivering a baby in the very peak of health.

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