Geriatric pregnancy, a less commonly used term for women who get pregnant after 35 years of age. The term was widely used in the earlier decades when most of the women were getting pregnant during their 20s, but as the lifestyle of people has changed, getting pregnant in ‘elderly years’ has become a very common thing. Now-a-days, doctors and medical professionals call women who get pregnant after 35 as women in ‘advanced maternal age’.
As per the statistics women who get pregnant after 40 years of age has doubled. Let’s take a look at whether it is risky for woman and the baby to be born, if she gets pregnant after her 35 years of age.
Risks of geriatric pregnancy
From the time a woman is born, she will have the same eggs all through her life, until she has them. There are certain risks of developing abnormalities in babies born to a woman who conceives in their advanced maternal age. The risks of geriatric pregnancy include:
- Premature Birth of the baby
- Low birth weight
- Chromosomal defects in the baby
- Complications during delivery
- Possibility of a caesarean delivery
- Preeclampsia – a condition that results in high blood pressure in mother
- Gestational diabetes – diabetes during pregnancy.
Note: This doesn’t mean that women who get pregnant early in life are going to always deliver a healthy baby. It depends on a number of factors including over health and the health of reproductive organs or on any incidents that may happen while pregnant.
Are there any benefits of getting pregnant late in life?
Getting pregnant late in life or geriatric pregnancy is not always bad. Women who had aspirations in their career or women who wanted to make their financial situation better may deliberately delay pregnancy. If the woman has well settled in her life and earned enough to take care of the baby, that is a huge positive thing for the mother and the baby, isn’t it?
Being in touch with your gynecologist during pregnancy is always a good thing.
Whether you are pregnant late in your life or while you are in your 20s, it is always good to keep in touch with experienced gynecologists until and after delivery. The fear or stress of getting pregnant late can by itself lead to pregnancy complications. Stress is a monster that can cause any kind of health issues, physically and/or mentally, says Dr. Deepa Ganesh. She adds that there are hundreds of cases where women who got pregnant after 35 years who have delivered healthy babies. Following your gynaecologist’s advice and taking some healthy steps given below can help you relieve the stress and deliver a perfectly healthy baby:
- Exercise regularly. At least, keep walking regularly, it isn’t a bad thing even when you are pregnant, unless you are advised total bed rest by your doctor for any reason.
- Have a healthy diet. Quit smoking if you are a smoker and avoid alcohol. Good for you and your baby.
- Take naturally occurring vitamins and minerals through vegetables and fruits. If that doesn’t suffice your needs, you can go for supplements as advised by your doctor.
- If you are overweight, you need to work on it to get back to normal weight to avoid any delivery complications.
- At all times, follow your gynecologist’s advice and get tests done regularly to check on the health and growth of your baby.