In their effort to build a successful career, nowadays more and more women are postponing motherhood. Late pregnancy is now a common feature among women. Specific risks might entail your decision to become pregnant after 35. Usually women are most fertile in the twenties and early thirties. After 38, their productivity gradually declines. Fortunately, with advancement in medical care, it is possible to minimize the risks of late pregnancy through proper pre-pregnancy planning.
Risks of late pregnancy
Often the physical capability of a woman falters as she ages. Young women are physically stronger to endure the stress of pregnancy.
Risk of miscarriage
It is estimated that the risk of miscarriage rises with age. About 15 percent of pregnant women within 20 and 35 years of age have miscarriage risk. After 35, the risk of miscarriage increases, and after 40, more than 25 percent of pregnancy entails miscarriage risk.
Risk of maternal mortality
Although, the number of maternal deaths during pregnancy has significantly declined in recent times, nonetheless the risk of maternal mortality is high among women opting to become pregnant after 35.
Health risks of older pregnant women
Older women have a higher risk of developing health problems during pregnancy. They have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases during pregnancy. The risk of preeclampsia, also increases during this time.
Fetal health risks
Incidents of fetal death, premature birth and low birth weight increases in late pregnancies. The child might have chromosomal abnormalities such as Down’s syndrome.
Healthy late pregnancy
However, with proper preconception planning, the chance of health hazards could be reduced in the mother and the child. Proper diet and exercise could help to prevent risks of health problems such as high blood pressure, heart diseases and diabetes. A healthy diet should comprise of vegetables, fruits, whole grain products, low fat milk and dairy products and lean meat. Your physician might recommend multivitamin and mineral supplements. You should increase consumption of vegetables rich in folic acid and folic acid supplement, as recommended by your physician, at least six months before conception. Adequate amount of folic acid in the mother’s body at the time of conception is necessary for preventing birth defects in the child. Through proper diet and regular exercise, women planning to become pregnant after 35 could keep their body mass index at the normal level.