After your first child, you made a conscious choice to wait for some years before having another baby. Perhaps you want your firstborn to be older, or you want to focus on your career or you want to recover from your health and finances. Whatever your reasons be, if plenty of time has passed and you’re over 35 years of age trying for , you should know the following things.
The closer you inch towards 40, the smaller your fertility window gets, until pregnancy is actually a matter of high risk. Talk in great detail with your obstetrician about your menstrual cycle, period flow, lifestyle and any other health issues and see how it influences your pregnancy.
The risk to both, the mother as well as the baby only increases after the age of 35. Although the risks are not as high as many would tell you, it still warrants plenty of care and caution.
- Women who conceive after 35 are at a higher risk of miscarriage.
- In pregnancy over the age of 35, there’s a higher risk of gestational diabetes i.e. diabetes that develops during pregnancy.
- You’re also at a risk of endometriosis (a disorder in which the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus grows outside the uterus) and fibroids (non-cancerous growth in the uterus that causes pelvic pain and bleeding).
- Studies suggest that women who conceive after 40 are nine times more likely to have a baby with some chromosomal defect.
- Underlying or pre-existing medical conditions may interfere with the pregnancy and put the health of the mother as well as the baby at risk during delivery.
- As you grow older, you’re likely to develop blood pressure problems – a condition that’s on the rise among many young people in urban areas due to their lifestyle. If gone undetected, it may severely impact your pregnancy.
First things first, talk to your doctor! You need to get a green light from your doctor on whether or not you’re physically ready for a baby.
Get a genetic counselling from your obstetrician, after you’ve tested . Genetic counselling will help you understand the risks, help you diagnose the likelihood of chromosomal defects showing up as well as how to protect yourself and your baby from birth defects.
Follow a healthy diet. Metabolism slows down with age, and your body doesn’t burn all the junk you eat, the way it used to ten years ago. If you don’t have the time to exercise, at least be mindful about following a healthy diet!
Exercise regularly. Moderate amounts of cardio and strength-based exercises before you even start trying to conceive will be immensely helpful. Consult with your doctor on the best exercises to do during pregnancy.
All said and done, it’s important to remember that women have been delivering healthy babies since time immemorial, and almost every pregnancy is a risky one, irrespective of age. Scientific advancements have made it possible for women over 35 to consider alternative methods too. What matters most is that you don’t put your health and well-being in jeopardy. Have a lengthy, open and honest discussion with your partner as well as your obstetrician to make a wise decision.
Got any questions regarding being a mommy for the second time after 35? Do feel free to leave your questions and comments below.