Most of us have heard about a women’s biological clock ticking. We know that a woman will get to a point in her life when she can no longer have children. But, there are more and more women waiting until their 30’s to decide to have children. For other women, a surprise pregnancy in their mid 30s or early 40’s is also common. So even though every pregnancy is special and every baby deserves the best prenatal care, for mothers over 35 a few extra precautions should be taken.
1. Getting pregnant might be harder after 35. Sometimes women ovulate less frequently. Eggs become harder to fertilize and women are more likely to have endometriosis (a condition that can cause uterine pain and infertility). All these things could make it harder to get pregnant.
2. Consider genetic testing. Since risk for some birth defects increases with maternal age and possibility for miscarriage does as well, genetic testing is a good option for those who choose it. This could include a long interview and/or blood work from both parents. This is a personal choice you have to make. Genetic testing provides parents with information about potential issues at birth, such as Down’s syndrome and neural tubal defects.
3. Preexisting Conditions can cause a problem. Try to get any preexisting condition under control before getting pregnant. Remember once you become pregnant and being over 35, it is even more important that you;
a. Take Folic Acid (prenatal vitamins) daily to prevent neural tubal defects.
b. Eat a balanced diet
c. Start an exercise program
d. Avoid cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs.
The best thing a mom-to-be over 35 can do is get early and proper prenatal care. If you know you want to get pregnant, talk to your doctor before it happens and get advice about what is going to be safe and healthy for both you and the baby.