Women of all ages can be seen pushing baby strollers around these days, including a growing number of women in their 30s and 40s. That is because birth rates for older women have been increasing since 1990, jumping 47 percent for women ages 35 to 39 and 80 percent for women ages 40 to 44. While most older mothers have healthy pregnancies, there are some things you should know if you are planning to become pregnant after age 35.
- Fertility starts to decline as you enter your 30s. This is because women are born with a limited number of eggs and quality of the eggs usually begins to decline after this age.
- After the age of 35, women have an increased risk of fertility problems, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, Cesarean section, chromosomal abnormalities, miscarriage, placenta previa, premature delivery and stillbirth. Many of these complications can be managed thanks to advances in medical care and good prenatal care.
- In addition to a preconception appointment, keep all prenatal appointments after getting pregnant to monitor your health and prevent and control any problems that may develop.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Remember to avoid alcohol, don’t smoke, and limit caffeine to no more than 300 milligrams per day. Ask your doctor before taking any medications or supplements.
- Gain the right amount of weight to not only support your baby’s health, but also make it easier to lose the pounds after delivery. Stay physically active unless your doctor advises otherwise.
- Have certain prenatal tests as recommended by your doctor, such as chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis or quad marker screen.
To read more about risks associated with advancing maternal age, visit the free, online health library on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/HighRiskPregnancy.
Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake
9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218