Geriatric pregnancy. The term is as outdated as it sounds. And for very good reasons too. With women focusing more on themselves and on their careers before having children so that they can be the best working mom possible, it’s no wonder geriatric pregnancies have been booming this past decade. If you or someone you know is planning on having a baby after the age of 35, then this is your go to guide of how to thrive before, during, and after each stage of pregnancy.
What Is A Geriatric Pregnancy
Technically speaking, a geriatric pregnancy is the medical term used to describe a woman who is planning on having a baby or expecting a baby after the age of 35. Now, let’s get one thing straight. Someone who is 35 years of age is not geriatric in any way shape or form. The same, however, cannot be said about a woman’s uterus. As a woman ages, her ability to conceive and carried to term a healthy baby changes slightly. Your limited amount of eggs begins to decrease. Not only that, but the separation of your eggs into trillions of little cells may not be as effective as they were in your earlier years.
Though the name of pregnancies over the age of 35 has had a bad rap over the years, geriatric pregnancies are actually more common than you may think. In fact, now more than ever women are waiting until they are they have cleared their 20s to have a baby.
Why All The Fuss?
Geriatric pregnancies are a cause of concern for many obstetricians and gynecologists because they pose an increased risk of pregnancy and delivery complications. Some of the risks that are associated with advanced maternal age include:
- Low birth weight in the baby
- Premature birth
- Still birth
- Chromosomal defect in the baby
- Labor complications
- Emergency cesarean section deliveries
- High blood pressure in the mother that can lead to a serious and even fatal condition called preeclampsia
- Gestational diabetes which is known to increase the risk of diabetes in later life
While these risks may be scary and intimidating, you can limit some of these by maintaining your health and visiting your doctor on a regular basis during your pregnancy. It is for reasons like this that it is incredibly important not to miss any of your prenatal appointments.
What You Can Do To Prepare Yourself
Before you set out on getting pregnant, it is best to prepare yourself. You can start by meeting with your doctor or midwife if you will be over the age of 35 by the time you are pregnant or are delivering your baby. Meeting early with your doctor before you set out to get pregnant will give you an opportunity to prepare yourself and your body so that it is at its peak performance. Your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes as well as medications you can take during pregnancy.
Along with that, your doctor may put you on a special form of prenatal vitamins so that you will receive all the vitamins and nutrients you need during your pregnancy. If you plan on getting pregnant, then it is best to begin a routine of prenatal vitamins that are high in folic acid. Folic acid is imperative if you are trying to have a baby because it can prevent severe birth defects. Such birth defects that it helps prevent include neural tube defects, serious defects in the spinal cord, (spina bifida) and birth defects in the brain.
If you are going to be having a baby after the age of 35, The best thing that you can do for yourself and your baby is to stay informed throughout your pregnancy. This means that you may or may not need to change lifestyle choices. Along with eating the best foods during your pregnancy, to ensure that you have a healthy and successful pregnancy, be sure that you do the following things:
- Get plenty of exercise
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Take your prenatal vitamins that are rich in folic acid before conception
- Avoid substances such as drugs smoking alcohol
Don’t Skip Out On Prenatal Appointments
Your prenatal appointments are incredibly important during a geriatric pregnancy. Routine prenatal appointments will allow your doctor or midwife to monitor you closely for any of the risks and complications associated with geriatric pregnancy. If you are going to be having a baby when you are over the age of 35, your doctor may suggest additional ultrasounds or genetic counseling. Participating in genetic counseling will enable you to take a deeper look at traits that might make you susceptible to risks and complications in your pregnancy. Overall, genetic counseling is beneficial in helping you prepare for your pregnancy.
The Benefits Of Pregnancy Over 35
While the medical field has shown that there are some downsides to having a geriatric pregnancy, the upsides are exponentially favorable. Here are some of the awesome things associated with having a geriatric pregnancy that you can look forward to.
You Will Live Longer
Studies have shown that women who give birth when they are over the age of 35 tend to live longer than women who give birth in their 20s. This could be due to a number of factors. One factor that many doctors credit this statistic to is stress. Women in their mid to late 30’s tend to be well established in their career. Because of this, women in their mid to late 30s tend to be more financially stable with a better grip on their life. They don’t have as much stress as they would if they were in their early to mid 20s. If you will be having a geriatric pregnancy, find comfort in the fact that you are more likely to live longer to enjoy some of the most my memorable moments of your life.
Women who are at the age of 35 and over and are planning to have a baby tend to be more financially stable than women who were younger. Financial stability can be an important factor in any pregnancy. For older women who have the comfort of financial stability, they can expect to have smoother pregnancies. The stress of finances does not play a role in the pregnancy. If there is one thing everybody knows about stress, it is that it can wreak havoc on the body. Know that you are more likely to have a stress free pregnancy if you are trying to conceive over the age of 35.
The advances in medical technology are astounding. If you are in your mid to late 20s and you know that you want to have a baby in your late 30s, then one of the best things you can do is take advantage of the advances in medical technology. You can start by freezing your eggs so that you know your eggs will be viable when you reach the point that you know you want to reproduce. Not only that, but in-vitro fertilization has made the impossible possible.
Slowly (and thankfully) the negative connotation to geriatric pregnancies has begun to take a back seat. By choosing a healthy lifestyle and maintaining an open line of communication with your doctor, geriatric pregnancies are more than possible. If you are over the age of 35 and are planning to have a baby, keep some of this information in mind before conceive. Do this, and you too can look forward to having a happy and healthy pregnancy.