As more women have joined the workforce and put a priority on their career, waiting until their mid to late 30’s to start a family has become increasingly common. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to put off pregnancy until you are sure that you have a stable income and a house of your own, pregnancy at 35 and older adds additional risk to you or your little one.
Pregnancy and Age
For women, age 30 is a defining age, not just in their professional life but also in their fertility. At this time, you have lesser and weaker eggs, which can make pregnancy more difficult, and while there are quite a number of scientific advances that have allowed older women to safely conceive at this age, it is still likely that you will suffer through a much more difficult pregnancy compared to a 25 year old.
This does not mean that women of a certain age should not have babies of their own; just that moms-to-be at this point in their lives should have a better understanding of the possible risks and consequences.
1. Birth defects
Roughly 1 in every 1,400 babies born to 20 something women will have Down Syndrome, while the number jumps to 1 in every 100 for moms in their 40’s. This shows how much of a factor age can be when it comes to pregnancy.
2. Miscarriage and Stillbirth
The chances of having a miscarriage for women in their 20s is only around 15%, but for women over 40, the odds of losing a child spikes to about 25%. Additionally, expectant mothers over 35 have higher chances of stillbirths.
3. Difficulty Conceiving
Women only produce 1 egg per month, which can only be fertilized in a matter of 24 hours. As you age, your naturally healthy egg cells will grow weaker and your ovulation will no longer be as consistent as when you were in your 20’s. Because of these complications, attempting to conceive in your mid 30’s may prove to be difficult.
4. Medical Disorders
Medical conditions such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and hypertension are also more common to older pregnant women, which can place the health of your baby at serious risk. To counter these health concerns, it’s important that you religiously monitor your glucose levels and blood pressure, along with keeping to a healthy diet and regular consultations with your physician.
5. Caesarian Delivery
As older expectant mothers are more prone to complications, it is also likely that they will have to deliver via C-section.
While these risks may seem scary, keep in mind that it is still highly possible to conceive and safely give birth after the age of 35. Just make sure to take extra precaution to monitor and protect your health and that of your developing child.