Labour and Childbirth
Although the chances of becoming pregnant are slim after 35 years of age, most women have perfectly healthy babies. There are risks in late pregnancy but they can be handled with advancement in the medical world along with few lifestyle changes. Women being pregnant in the late 30s can have better knowledge about pregnancy, child birth and financially settled to face the expenses better.
Here is all you need to know about pregnancy in the late 30s:
Risks of Pregnancy Over 35 Years
Some of the risk factors involved in late pregnancy include:
- Birth Defects: older women are likely to deliver babies with defects like Down syndrome (chromosomal defect), spinal bifida (neural tube defect) etc. Prenatal diagnosis can be helpful to avoid these symptoms.
- Gestational Diabetes: High blood pressure and high sugar level causes gestational diabetes, which is more likely to affect older pregnant women. This may lead to other complications like birth defects, premature labour etc.
- Miscarriage: The chances are miscarriage rises to 20% for women over 35 years and increases to 80% for women over 45 years of age. The first trimester is the risky period so pregnant women are expected to be cautious during this time.
- Premature birth / low birth weight: Older women over 35 years are at the risk of delivering premature babies before 37 weeks, resulting in babies with low birth weight. This may cause health complications for the baby.
Tips to Handle the Risks
- Go for regular prenatal checkup and start from the first trimester to avoid miscarriage.
- Prenatal supplements like folic acid and vitamins are essential for the normal development of the baby, so do not miss the prescribed supplements.
- Exercise regularly and follow a health regime. You can try prenatal yoga and cardio exercises to maintain a normal weight gain. Consult your gynecologist for ideal weight gain based on your health conditions.
- Eat healthy and nutritious food; cut down junk food and high fat diet to maintain an ideal weight. This helps to avoid gestational diabetes and other risk factors of late pregnancy.
- It is best to quit smoking and alcohol as soon as pregnancy is confirmed. This lifestyle change can avoid metabolic and neurological disorders in the baby.
- If you are overweight, you can consult with your gynecologist and get the help of a dietician to practice a healthy food regime.
- Perform the required prenatal tests and ultrasound scans to closely monitor the development of the baby.
- Stress is a strong opponent for pregnant women in their late 30s and 40s. Try to avoid stress by relaxing and indulging in activities like meditation, reading etc.
- Take only prescribed medication for any ailment during pregnancy instead of choosing over-the-counter medications. It is best to go for natural remedies and lifestyle changes to relieve from pregnancy symptoms and discomforts.
- Take enough rest as your body needs all the energy it can get. Having proper sleep can reduce stress, fatigue and prepare your body for nurturing the baby.