When you are beyond the age of 35 and are pregnant, you’re considered to be of advanced maternity age. As you age, the amount of egg cells you produce lowers and the produced eggs are no longer as healthy as you were in your 20s.
Gynaecologists in Singapore use the age of 35 as a key point in determining whether you need advanced medical care due to higher pregnancy risk. Although not all women above the age of 35 have complicated pregnancies, obstetricians and gynaecologists remain on alert throughout your maternity just in case.
When you get pregnant at a more mature age, there’s an increased chance of giving birth to fraternal twins. In addition to your age, the number of pregnancies you have had also plays a major role. If you become pregnant in your late 30s and have four or more pregnancies prior to the current pregnancy, you are three times more likely to have fraternal twins.
Another pregnancy risk that’s notable to mature expectant moms is Down Syndrome. This condition is due to chromosome defect, which is thought to be associated with aging egg cells. By the age of 40, one in 100 women is at risk of giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome. Above the age of 40, the chance of your unborn of developing the condition increases exponentially. It is good to visit http://www.thomsonmedical.com/thomson-womens-clinics-2/ in Singapore to check the health of the baby before continuing with the pregnancy. By the time you reach 49 and are pregnant, your risk increases at around eight percent or one in every 12 women. Your gynaecologist may request for a chronic virus sampling (CVS) or an amniocentesis to check the possibilities of Down Syndrome in your fetus.
An increased blood pressure can cause complications during pregnancy. If you are 35 or older, you are likely to have higher possibility of developing pre-pregnancy hypertension. High blood pressure can be a cause of premature delivery, which also means that older women are likely to deliver premature or underweight babies. Your gynae is fully aware of this risk and should provide the necessary care to avoid and treat hypertensive complications.
This is another pregnancy problem associated with advanced maternal age, which usually happens after the 20th week of pregnancy. Expectant moms after the age of 40 are more than twice as likely to have stillborn babies. Although stillbirth is not as common in both young and mature pregnancy, death of child during pregnancy is still possible.
Lastly, as women get older, there’s higher risk of maternal death during pregnancy and delivery. According to research, women aging 35 and older are three times as likely to die due to complications caused by pregnancy and labour compared to young moms. However, like stillbirth, maternal death is not very common at any age.
Lowering Risks of Pregnancy Complications
Taking good care of yourself is the best you can do to ensure the safety of your unborn child. Pay attention to these basics, and you will guarantee the health of your baby regardless of your age.
• Seek Pre-Conception Appointment
Talk to your doctor about your overall health and any necessary lifestyle changes to improve your chances of healthy pregnancy. If you have any concerns about fertility and pregnancy, this is the time to discuss them with your gynae. Ask about how to increase the odds of conception—and the treatment options if experiencing troubles with getting pregnant.
• Have Regular Prenatal Check-Ups
Regular hospital visits help your ob-gynae to monitor your and your baby’s health. If you’re experiencing unusual symptoms or have any concerns about your condition, mention it to your gynae. Talking to your healthcare provider will give you peace of mind and make it easier for your doctor to ensure optimum health of both you and your baby.
• Take Prenatal Multivitamins
Most prenatal multivitamin supplements contain more folic acid than you’ll typically find in standard supplements. It is important to have adequate amount of folic acid in the body during the early stages of pregnancy to greatly reduce the baby’s risk of developing neural tube defects. Ideally, your healthcare provider will ask you to start taking your vitamins one month before conceiving. Once your pregnancy is confirmed, your gynaecologist will likely increase your dosage to 600 micrograms from 400 micrograms.
• Stay Active
You don’t have to run a marathon to keep a healthy weight, but simple physical activities are required to boost your energy and improve overall health. Activities like morning walks help ease or even prevent discomfort brought by advanced-age pregnancy. Just make sure to get your ob-gynae’s approval before proceeding with an exercise program.
• Say No to Any Form of Alcohol
Do not drink while you are pregnant. Any alcohol you take reaches your baby through your bloodstream, and your unborn can end up with higher alcohol level that you are. Regardless of how little you take, you increase the chances of having low-birthweight baby and the risk of your baby to develop problems with speech, learning, attention span and language.
• Consider Testing For Chromosomal Abnormalities
Discuss with your gynaecology expert about prenatal testing for chromosomal abnormalities. This test examines your fetal DNA to determine whether your child is at risk of certain chromosomal abnormalities. However, this test can carry a slight risk of miscarriage. Your gynae should be able to explain to you more about this test and help you get through it safely if you consider having one.
Pregnancy risks differ from woman to woman. Although age is a significant factor, the mother’s overall health status is still the biggest contributor that can increase or decrease the odds of developing unfavourable issues during pregnancy. To ensure your and your unborn child’s health, talk to gynaecology specialist prior to pregnancy.