If you’re thinking of having a baby after the age of 35, you’re not alone. Statistically, women are marrying later and many aren’t starting their families until their mid-30s and beyond. While many moms have healthy babies later in life, there are some additional risks that should be considered. Here’s what you need to know about getting pregnant in mid-life. As always, if you have any questions you should consult your OB GYN in Jacksonville Beach.
Understand the Added Risks
Studies show that women who have children after the age of 35 do face more challenges and risks. That’s why it’s so important to visit your health care provider regularly and monitor your health. Some of the risks you need to know that increase with age include:
- Gestational diabetes
- Chromosomal abnormalities
- Hypertensive disorders
- Higher rate of C-section
- Bleeding complications
- Premature delivery
- Multiple pregnancy
- Low birth rate
See Your OB GYN Regularly
It’s extremely important to stay on top of your health care when you’re pregnant, especially as an older mom. Schedule a pre-pregnancy checkup with your OB GYN in Jacksonville Beach to ensure you’re in good overall health. At this appointment, your doctor will go over the added risk factors and address any concerns you have. You can also speak about ways to improve your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy.
Once you’re pregnant, it’s vital that you receive regular prenatal care as scheduled by your OB GYN. This will allow your doctor to monitor both your health and the health of your baby. You’ll also be able to ask any questions you have and get recommendations to alieve any symptoms you’re experiencing.
Eat Healthy and Take Prenatal Vitamins
You will need more folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients when you’re pregnant. Eat a healthy diet and steer clear of foods that can be dangerous to pregnant women, such as sushi and lunch meats. Start taking prenatal vitamins with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid before you become pregnant. This can help prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida. Last but not least, always avoid alcohol, tobacco and any medications that are not approved by your doctor.
Prenatal Testing for Older Moms
Ask your OB GYN in Jacksonville Beach about prenatal testing for chromosomal abnormalities. During a cell-free DNA testing, DNA from the mom and baby is taken from a maternal blood sample. It’s then screened to see if there’s an increased chance for specific issues like Down syndrome, trisomy 13 and trisomy 18. Additional diagnostic tests can be performed to find out more about your baby’s risk of chromosomal abnormalities. Since these tests can carry a slight risk of miscarriage, it’s important to speak to your doctor about the risks versus benefits.
Discuss Your Options with Your OB GYN in Jacksonville Beach
While becoming pregnant over the age of 35 increases the risk of complications, many women have healthy babies at this stage of their life. Older moms are often more mature, dedicated and better prepared for handling motherhood than younger women. Being aware of the additional risks and steps you can take will help you make an informed decision about your pregnancy.
If you’re considering becoming a mom, schedule a pre-pregnancy checkup at North Florida OBGYN of Jacksonville Beach. Call us today at 904-440-0810.