Pregnancy after Age 35
With 1 in 5 women delaying pregnancy until after 35 and a 50 percent increase in first time births to women 40 and older in the past 15 years, more and more women are delaying pregnancy or choosing to add to their family after age 35. Getting pregnant after 35 can be one of the biggest challenges, with declining fertility levels, but new advances in fertility treatments have made pregnancy possible for more women at all ages. Following are several questions we hear regularly at Clinic Sofia. Have others? Please let us know!
How can I increase my chances of conception? Make a “pre-conception” appointment with your doctor to discuss your health and lifestyle and address any concerns. Then, consider an at-home ovulation test, so you can pinpoint when you’re ovulating each month. Do all the things you’d do if you were pregnant: Eat well, stress less, move more, drink less (alcohol and caffeine, not water!). And be patient – it can take a year or more to conceive, but talk to your doctor if nothing has happened in six months.
What should I be concerned about? If you are pregnant and older than 35, you’re more likely to have twins or other multiples, to develop high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, and more likely to suffer a miscarriage, deliver early (before 37 weeks) or need a C-section due to labor problems. That’s why pre-natal care is so important.
What can I do to ensure the best pregnancy possible? Get regular prenatal care, so you can monitor your and your baby’s health. Discuss any concerns or symptoms, no matter how small. Eat well, get plenty of folic acid (400 micrograms daily), limit or eliminate caffeine, and take a prenatal vitamin. Stay active, unless advised otherwise, and monitor weight gain. Don’t smoke, drink or take any medications your doctor hasn’t approved. And don’t change your cat’s litter box.
What else should I be thinking about right now? Talk to your doctor about various prenatal tests, your labor and delivery plan, and anything else that’s on your mind.