If you’ve heard the term “geriatric pregnancy” you may have visions of a gray-haired woman with a baby bump, but this term is misleading—and, thankfully, not used too often in this day and age. The term actually refers to pregnant women over the age of 35, and it is now often stated as “advanced maternal age” to set it apart from other types of pregnancy.
Although many women are choosing to become pregnant at a later time in life these days, those over the age of 35 may have some special circumstances to consider, depending on a variety of different factors. An experienced OB/GYN can be very helpful in walking you through all of the details, letting you know of any special areas of concern. If you are in this age range and are thinking about getting pregnant, it can be a good idea to visit an OB/GYN clinic that specializes in this type of care. Women’s Healthcare Associates is a resource you can use in the Houston area if you like.
Having a Healthy Pregnancy
Many of the same recommendations will apply to you as to your younger counterparts. Here are a few of the most important:
- Eating healthy
- Exercising in moderation
- Monitoring weight gain
- Getting good prenatal care
Taking care of your health is important when you are pregnant, so many of the recommendations for having a healthy baby will be the same for women of all ages.
Some Pregnancy Cautions
The majority of women who have babies after the age of 35 have healthy deliveries and healthy babies, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of possible issues that may arise. Again, working with your OB/GYN clinic in Houston, TX, is the smartest way to stay on top of any potential problems, since they will know you and your medical history best. Even so, it helps to know that the following things may be more likely in women over 35 years of age:
- Difficulty conceiving – it may be harder to get pregnant now than when you were younger
- Gestational diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Certain birth defects – the risk of Down syndrome and other birth defects is higher in older women
- Multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets, etc.)
- Premature birth
- Pregnancy loss
It is important to note that although your risks for these factors go up with age, simply being older does not mean you will have any of these issues. Just like every woman is different, every pregnancy is different!
Depending on your health history and family health history, there may be some additional risk factors for you if you are over the age of 35 and considering pregnancy. Talk to your physician about what you should be aware of ahead of time.
If you have any questions about pregnancy at an advanced maternal age, feel free to contact our team at Women’s Healthcare Associates. We’d be glad to provide you with more information or schedule an appointment for you.
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