Pregnancy over 35 comes with ‘more risk’.
However, as long as you are in good health, then pregnancy should be straightforward. If any problems do occur, these will be monitored carefully by your obstetric team keeping you and your baby safe. You are also likely to have more antenatal tests and scans but monitoring can be reassuring.
It is important that you register with a good maternity hospital. You should also read up and ask your doctor questions as I did when I was pregnant for my second son. This is to ensure they know you are older and need to know what you are up against.
Find below some of the well-known ‘possible risks’ which can affect pregnant women of all ages. Overall women over 35 can expect to experience ‘more risk’.
‘Possible risk’ during pregnancy
- Multiple pregnancies.
- Ectopic pregnancy.
- Abnormal weight gain and obesity; be on a healthy diet and do plenty of exercise.
- High blood pressure (pre-eclampsia).
- Gestational diabetes; pay attention to blood sugar levels – tests will also be taken to monitor this(ensure to ask your doctor when you will be having this).
- Premature birth.
‘More risk’ during birth
- Induced labour.
- Longer first and second stages
- Placental problems.
- Instrumental delivery (forceps, ventouse).
- Cesarean section but research has shown no increased risk in emergency cesarean.
- Low birth weight but this is usually a risk with multiple births.
- Research has shown increased risk of late stillbirth.
The perception of an older mother being ‘higher risk’, influences the care she receives. She is more likely to receive consultant care and to have continuous electronic foetal monitoring during birth.
If you are an older-mum-to-be and desire a natural birth, become well informed on what to expect during pregnancy, during birth and after. Ask plenty of questions.
On a positive note, research agrees that the outcome for babies is just as positive as that for younger mothers. So don’t be worried, just ensure you live a healthy life and you will be holding your beautiful healthy baby soon.
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