How To Ensure a Healthy Pregnancy After 35

How To Ensure a Healthy Pregnancy After 35

A lot has changed in recent decades — and not just the rise of cell phones, the internet, and social media. 

In the past, it was most common for women to start having children in their 20s. But in the past 30 years, those numbers have declined significantly. In turn, the numbers have jumped for women in their late 30s and early 40s.

The medical community often uses terms like mothers of “advanced maternal age” and “high-risk” — or you may have heard the term “geriatric pregnancy” — as pregnancy after 35 comes with specific challenges. These labels can be concerning, but they don’t mean you can’t have a healthy pregnancy or baby at this age. 

However, you do have to work with an expert you trust every step of the way. Daniel Esteves, MD, has been a practicing OB/GYN for over 20 years. After delivering more than 7,000 healthy babies, you can rest easy knowing you’re in the best hands with your pregnancy — no matter your age.

Are you 35 or older and you’re considering pregnancy? Dr. Esteves can help you understand the special considerations that apply and give you the support you need to achieve a healthy outcome. 

Start before you’re pregnant

Despite popular misconceptions, most women over age 35 have normal pregnancies. They also deliver healthy, full-term babies. 

To give yourself the best chances possible, Dr. Esteves advises setting yourself up for success from the very beginning — before you’re even pregnant. Schedule a pre-pregnancy well woman exam visit to ensure  you’re in the best health possible before trying to conceive. 

During this appointment, Dr. Esteves reviews your family and medical history, past pregnancies, existing medical conditions, and medications. He also discusses your lifestyle, diet, and weight. You can also use this visit to raise any questions and concerns.

This consultation helps set you up with information you need to reduce your chances of developing problems that can complicate your pregnancy and the health of your baby. 

Don’t wait to get fertility support

It’s possible to get pregnant without help or planning after turning 35. However, the ability to conceive starts declining at age 30 — and it continues to diminish with increasing speed until menopause

Dr. Esteves recommends looking into fertility care services immediately if you’re over 35 and haven’t become pregnant after six months of unprotected intercourse. 

Remember, the ability to conceive continues to decrease the older you get. The earlier you pursue medical advice, the faster you can begin fertility treatments. Together, that increases your chances of achieving pregnancy. 

Dr. Esteves suggests getting expert advice even sooner if you have known medical conditions that can interfere with natural conception, for instance, endometriosis or fibroids.

Know the facts

Anyone can experience pregnancy and childbirth complications, regardless of age. However, pregnancy beginning after age 35 is always classified as high-risk because the chances of complications are higher — but that doesn’t mean they’re inevitable. 

Many problems that occur with pregnancies after 35 are associated with health conditions that become more common with age, like diabetes or high blood pressure. Without proper treatment for these issues, they could cause complications for you or your unborn baby during your pregnancy. 

Certain behaviors can significantly reduce your risk of complications. A Canadian study reports that women could increase their chances in their 40s of comparable pregnancy and birth outcomes to younger women by taking these precautions:

The overall risk of miscarriage for women at age 40 is 25%, compared to 12%-15% for women in their 20s. By following the above precautions, you could avoid a miscarriage at age 40 by 75%.

Many women can have a healthy pregnancy and baby after 35. Get more information and learn more about your options by scheduling a visit with Dr. Daniel Esteves in Lawrenceville, Georgia, today.

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