Women who are pregnant at age 35 or older are often said to be of "advanced maternal age." This may seem a little off-putting at first. But you should not let the terminology alarm you too much. Older women can and do have completely healthy pregnancies, giving birth to healthy babies. There are just a few risks that increase as you grow older, and a few more things to be aware of. You can enjoy some peace of mind, and perhaps even make your pregnancy a bit safer and healthier, by having the following conversations with your OB.
What chromosomal abnormalities should you screen for?
Chromosomal abnormalities, such as those that cause Down syndrome and cystic fibrosis, are a little more common in the children of older mothers. In most cases, however, these conditions can be diagnosed through screening in early pregnancy, which gives you the option to terminate the pregnancy if you so choose. Talk to your OB about this screening, and weigh the pros and cons of having it done. You may not want to screen, and that is totally okay, but it's nice to know the ins and outs of the procedure so you're clear on what you're opting for or opting against.
How can you recognize signs of high blood pressure or high blood sugar?
High blood pressure and high blood sugar can both become problematic for pregnant moms. Women who have never dealt with these conditions before sometimes develop them in pregnancy, and the risk is higher for older moms. Talk to your OB about the signs of high blood pressure and high blood sugar. This way, if you recognize any of the signs, you can seek medical treatment ASAP, improving the outcome for you and your baby.
What lifestyle changes can you make for a healthier pregnancy?
The older you are, the more important it is that you take great care of your body during pregnancy. So, talk to your OB about exactly what this great self-care should and should not involve. Do they think you should see a dietitian? Maybe they'd recommend working with a personal trainer so you can stay active more safely. Perhaps regular chiropractic adjustments would be helpful. With your doctor's guidance, you can live in a way that supports a healthy pregnancy, even over the age of 35.
You can have a happy, healthy pregnancy. Talk to your OB about the topics above for more confidence and assurance.Share