CLEVELAND, OH – Some women decide to have a child in their 30s for some reasons such as financial stability or career settlement. Some also believe that they feel more capable and stable than those who have children early. As sensible as it sounds, older women in their 30s should also be aware of the risks in their pregnancy.
Ellie Ragsdale, MD, director of fetal intervention of University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, stated that it is possible for older women to have healthy and safe pregnancies. Though, they may have to overcome higher risks and problems which she categorizes into three, conceiving, pregnancy, and delivery.
The problem starts even before they are in the pregnancy period. Women will become less fertile as they reach the age of 30, this will affect the process of conceiving as it might be slower for some women who are planning to become pregnant.
In the pregnancy period, older women by the age of 35 might be exposed to higher risks such as diabetes and high blood pressure. It is also learned that older women have a higher chance to have multiple babies in the pregnancy.
In the delivery process, women in their 30s are advised to have a cesarean section. Another complication in the delivery process is the labor time. It is more likely to be more lengthy than younger women.
The effect of older women’s pregnancies is also found in the child. “Babies born to older mothers may have a higher risk for chromosomal birth defects, prematurity, and low birth weight,” Dr. Ragsdale said. Even so, healthy pregnancies in older women are not impossible. They can have successful pregnancies and deliveries as long as they follow good prenatal care.
Mother and baby healthcare has advanced to the point where it can help to prevent the risks and to aid the mother while facing the risk. Dr. Ragsdale said that starting an early prenatal care routine is the key to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby at any age.
“It’s important to make sure you’re in good health before and during your pregnancy. Eat a nutritious diet and exercise regularly. Avoid cigarettes and alcohol, which can harm the baby,” she explained. She recommends for the women to be prescribed 400 mcg of folic acid every day pre and post-pregnancy in order to lower the chance for birth defects.
The American Diabetes Association advises older women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to take low-dose aspirin by the end of the first trimester continuously to prevent preeclampsia. The prescription should be discussed with their doctor to get the exact dose and frequency.
“Discuss any pregnancy plans with your provider, who can identify any special needs you may have and help make suggestions. Together, you can make pregnancy and motherhood wonderful experiences,” Dr. Ragsdale stated.
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