Doctors warn pregnant moms who are 35 and older about all of the potential health risks the mother or the baby may experience. But age might not be a factor for pregnant women if they are healthy. A healthy 40-year-old woman who is biologically 25 may have fewer pregnancy problems than a woman who is 25 but biologically 40.
Even if a woman who is 40, not biologically younger, and pregnant, that is okay. This is the safest time to be pregnant. Thanks to all the technological advances in hospitals now, doctors are able to detect and treat problems sooner. However, the risks still increase as you age.
There are certain risks that increase as women grow older. A young 20-year-old woman has a 1 in 10,000 chance of having a baby with Down syndrome. But a 40-year-old woman has a 1 in 100 chance of having a baby with Down syndrome.
The best way to prevent health risks for a child if the mother is 35 or older is to employ these few simple tips:
Take Prenatal Vitamins
Take a prenatal vitamin every day containing 400 micrograms or .4 milligrams of the B vitamin and folic acid. This vitamin will help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida.
Visit Your Doctor
Be sure to visit your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant. They can advise you on a safe diet and exercise for you.
Manage Preexisting Conditions
If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, tell your doctor you are trying to conceive. Be on top of your treatment for any conditions you may have.
Check Your Weight
Women who are overweight when they are pregnant are more likely to problems during pregnancy as well as a difficult labor. Lose weight if you are overweight.
Eating healthy food will be better for you and your baby. Make sure to eat food with folic acid, along with taking your prenatal vitamin. Folic acid is beneficial if taken before pregnancy to prevent birth defects, so be sure to eat folic acid rich food to help your unborn baby. Some foods you could eat are spinach, beans, lintels, and sunflower seeds.
Work out routinely.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Get an adequate amount of rest each night. Experts suggest leaving the TV out of the bedroom and putting a laptop or phone on the floor. This is all suggested to help you get better rest.
Get Your Vaccines Make sure you are up to date on your shots.
Do not Drink Alcohol
Even a small amount of alcohol can cause a child to suffer from birth defects.
Do Not Use Drugs
The use of drugs will also harm your unborn baby. Do not consume or smoke illegal drugs.
Do Not Smoke
As you age, smoking can lead to egg depletion. Try to quit smoking before you become pregnant. Women are 60% more likely to become infertile if they smoke cigarettes.
These tips can help you have a healthy baby at any age. But if you are 35 or older, be sure to go to the doctor for the proper check-ups, and make sure your doctor informs you of all the risks there are during an older age pregnancy.
There are benefits to being pregnant at an older age. You are likely more mature and dedicated to having a child. It is also likely you have thought more about the sacrifices you will have to make for a child, so you are better prepared for the future.