By Mariel Uyquiengco
People all have different priorities in life. Some dream of having a family of their own early in life, and some pursue career success. For those who crave success in their chosen field, the idea of starting a family gets a bit pushed. Pregnancy after 35 is no longer unusual. However, once they decide to already have a child, they pursue their new goal with the same passion and determination that they brought to their work.
Pregnancy after 35 does not come easy and involves certain health risks. Here are some that you should know and learn more about to be able to prepare well.
According to WebMD.com, a woman’s fertility peaks between ages 23 to 31. Once she’s in her late 30s to 40s, ovulation becomes less frequent and the quality and quantity of her eggs also diminish. The odds of getting pregnant at that age become lower.
Miscarriage is common in women going through a pregnancy after 35. The American Pregnancy Association says that this is due to the increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities that make a pregnancy not viable.
Studies have shown that the risk of fetal distress goes up with the mother’s age. This can lead to an emergency C-section, a vacuum-assisted vaginal delivery, or other invasive intervention.
The risk of genetic abnormalities in babies goes up the older the mother gets. This is because of problems that occur when eggs divide. Women’s eggs do not divide well as they age. The most common abnormality is Down syndrome, while other less-common ones are Patau’s syndrome and Edward’s syndrome.
Health risks for the mother
As people grow older, the more health problems they encounter. A pregnancyusually aggravates existing conditions. However, even older women without serious medical problems still have the risk of having pregnancy-related gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.The probability of having pre-eclampsia, a serious complication that can affect the nervous system, also becomes greater.
Though there is certainly a higher probability that something will go wrong in a pregnancy after 35, it is important to remember that many children of older mothers come out okay.
Health risks are just that – risks. They can be managed through good planning and preparation, especially with the help of your trusted physician.
Mariel Uyquiengco hopes to inspire parents to be their children’s first and best teacher. She does this through her blog and online children’s book shop www.thelearningbasket.com and by giving parenting seminars about early childhood development, preschool homeschool, and raising children to be readers.