Many people who have attained the age of becoming parents are yet to actualize that.
Studies showed that this is a result of numerous reasons associated with modern lifestyle such as attaining higher levels of education, career development, availability of effective contraception and fertility options, cultural and social drifting, unemployment, etc. which has made most people delay parenthood.
Although this may not be so much of an issue for the men rather for the women. This is because all women are designed to have a fixed number of eggs which they release per one in a menstrual cycle.
The egg is usually released during ovulation, which is around 14 days before menstruation. Therefore, as a woman, the more you advance in age, the less the number of eggs you have – thus might lead to infertility.
As a result, women over 35 years planing to have their first baby has medically been termed as being advanced maternal age(AMA) or older mothers. AMA has been tagged to be disadvantageous to an extent for women aged 35 and above.
First-time mom over 34 and baby will most likely have serious risks that require special attention during pregnancy.
According to research pregnant women aged 40 and older are at greater risk of ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, heart attack and death from cardiovascular disease(such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol)
The type of diabetes common in pregnant women is known as gestational diabetes. If not detected on time, and treated properly, the baby and mother’s health would be at a higher risk.
Some of the common health risks for women aged 35 and above may include:
Miscarriage and Preterm birth
The risk of miscarriage or fetal loss increases as a woman gets older in age (approaches the late 30s). This increase is observed irrespective of a woman’s reproductive history
Research showed that women in their 40s have 74% risk chance of having a miscarriage than those in their early 20s. In the course of these studies, researchers thought it through to be a result of the declining quality of eggs.
Another study published showed that pregnant mothers aged 40 and over may have an increased risk for preterm birth, regardless of confounding factors. Researchers also say that the maternal age of 30-34 years is associated with the lowest risk of prematurity.
Caesarean section also known as cesarean birth may be needed during delivery. What this implicates is that for your baby to be born, surgical intervention may be required.
Like any other surgical procedure, the cesarean section exposes you to some risks like infection, bleeding and adverse reaction to anesthesia. Therefore your pregnancy complications increase as you get older.
Preeclampsia occurs when blood pressure shoots up and this affects the functions of the kidneys and liver. This usually happens after the 20th week of pregnancy or right after pregnancy.
Symptoms are changes in vision and severe headaches. A test may reveal the presence of protein in the urine. If you’re older than 40, you have a higher risk of preeclampsia than a younger woman.
Women over 30 years have a higher risk of giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome. At the age of 25, a woman’s risk of having a child with this condition is 1 in 1064. But by the time she reaches her early 40s, the risk goes up to 1 in 53.
After the age of 45, the risk of giving birth to a baby with this disorder is 1 in 19. One study by Nature Communications showed that older mothers have a heightened risk of giving birth to children with congenital anomalies that are characterized by abnormal chromosome numbers.
Your risk of giving birth to a stillborn child heightens as you approach over 35 years.
Furthermore, the stillbirth rate has been shown to be higher in people having their first child and even higher in first-time moms aged 35 and above.
Subsequent, research also says that fetal testing at 38 weeks of gestation has the greatest impact on reducing stillbirth rates in older women.
Decline in fertility
As the age of women rises, the likelihood that they will get pregnant reduces due to the declining number of remaining eggs and their reduced quality.
Moreover, fertility also declines in men with age due to declining sperm counts, motility, and semen volume. These age-related factors combined can make it more difficult for women to become pregnant.
One study found that among women who received artificial insemination, 74 percent of those under 31 years old were pregnant within a year. However, this decreased to 61 percent of individuals between the ages of 31 to 34, and it further declined to 54 percent of women aged 35 and over.
But this doesn’t mean that you should just forget about having a baby. Thanks to With the improvement in modern medicine, you can now safely get pregnant and have a healthy baby well after you are in your thirties. All you have to do is take certain precautions.
Here are a few tips that could help
If, you are over the age of 35 and pregnant no need to be scared because you can still enjoy the journey to motherhood. With the improvement in modern medicine, you can now safely get pregnant and have a healthy baby well after you are in your thirties. All you have to do is take certain precautions, follow the tips here, and consult your doctor regularly. Doing these will keep you and baby safe. You may also find more tips on “ How to keep you and baby safe during pregnancy”
Get enough sleep
Sleep is important. Make sure you sleep for at least 7 hours every night. This is good for both you and your unborn child.
A study at the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences says that poor sleep quality and quantity during pregnancy can disrupt normal immune processes and lead to lower birth weights and other complications.
It also says that women with depression are more likely than non-depressed women to suffer from disturbed sleep and to experience immune system disruption and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Go for regular check-ups
Make sure your blood sugar levels and blood pressure remain normal. Read how to reduce your blood sugar naturally.
If you have a thyroid imbalance, go for regular check-ups. As you age, you may have a few more health complications that a younger woman won’t have. This may make your pregnancy complicated. Always be in touch with your doctor and follow instructions to the letter.
Consult your doctor. Depending on your overall health condition, he may recommend prenatal supplements like folic acid. This will prevent neural tube birth defects like spina bifida, a condition in which the tissue over the baby’s spinal cord doesn’t close.
Maintain a balanced weight
You cannot afford to be obese in pregnancy after 35. Lose weight immediately or you may have a difficult time during labour and delivery.
Follow the appropriate meal plan
Be sure to have nutritious food. Plan your meals in such a way that each meal includes all the essential nutrients. Be sure to eat a lot of spinach, beans, lentils and sunflower seeds for that extra dose of folic acid.
Exercise, practice yoga, go for a walk. A sedentary lifestyle is not for you if you are older and pregnant. You need to exercise regularly to avoid complications.