Pregnancy is an exciting time in your life, no matter your age. However, if you’re over 35, there are a few more things you and your doctor need to be aware of. Being of advanced maternal age doesn’t mean you can’t have a healthy pregnancy, but you may have some challenges along the way.
At her practice in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York, Dr. Inga Zilberstein provides excellent obstetrics care to all of her patients. If you’re thinking about getting pregnant and you’re over 35, Dr. Zilberstein and her team offer expert guidance when it comes to the extra steps to take for a healthy and happy pregnancy.
What’s considered advanced maternal age?
Advanced maternal age is a medical term used to describe a woman who is, or plans to be, pregnant after age 35. You’re more at risk for certain conditions at this stage in life.
Your fertility also begins to decline in your mid 30s. This means the number of eggs and the quality of your eggs isn’t as good as when you were younger. Being of advanced maternal age also carries the potential of more genetic and chromosomal abnormalities.
Although advanced maternal age does mean more risks, it’s completely possible to get pregnant after 35 and have a healthy baby. You’re not treated much differently as a woman of advanced maternal age, but you may need more prenatal appointments and additional testing.
Pregnancy risks after 35
The biggest concern with a pregnancy after 35 is the risks to both you and your baby. The later in life you become pregnant, the greater the risk of certain issues, including:
- Down syndrome
- Gestational diabetes
- Low birth weight
- Premature birth
After 35, you’re also more likely to get pregnant with twins. This happens because as you age, more than one egg may be released during your menstrual cycle, which could result in more than one baby.
You’re also at an increased risk of needing a cesarean section when you’re of advanced maternal age. While you might not experience any of the risks above, your chances of experiencing them are higher when you’re over 35.
How to achieve a healthy pregnancy at any age
If you’re thinking of getting pregnant in your mid-to-late 30s, you still can have a healthy baby and a seamless pregnancy. You just need to consider the risks and take the steps to ensure your well-being.
For instance, you should make a preconception appointment with Dr. Zilberstein as soon as you’re ready to try getting pregnant. This allows her to assess your overall health and discuss any issues that may increase your chances of problems during your pregnancy.
Dr. Zilberstein helps you with the steps you need to take for a complication-free pregnancy. If you’re considering having a baby and you’re nearing or at advanced maternal age, these steps decrease your chances of issues:
- Take a prenatal vitamin
- Ensure your preventive care is up-to-date
- Keep your medical conditions in check
- Stop drinking alcohol
- Quit smoking or using tobacco
- Get regular exercise
- Eat a healthy diet
Keeping an eye on your weight is important as well. Being overweight before you get pregnant makes it more probable that you’ll have issues either getting pregnant or during your pregnancy. Eating healthy and exercising while you’re trying to conceive really helps in the long run.
If you’re over 35 and considering getting pregnant, we’re here for you. Call the office today at 646-601-6351 to schedule an appointment, or request a consultation on our website.