Pregnant At 38 Years Old What To Expect

How Can I Increase My Chances of Having a Healthy Baby?

Preconception checkups and counseling. When you decide you’re ready to start a family, follow these instructions before becoming pregnant.

See your doctor. To ensure that you are mentally and physically prepared for pregnancy, have a checkup.

Get early and regular prenatal care. The development of your unborn child depends on the first eight weeks of your pregnancy. Your chances of having a risk-free pregnancy and a healthy baby can be increased with early and consistent prenatal care. Prenatal care includes examinations, check-ups, education about pregnancy and childbirth, counseling, and support.

Prenatal care also offers older women additional protection. It enables your doctor to monitor health conditions that are more prevalent in pregnant women who are older. For instance, preeclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure and protein in the urine, and gestational diabetes may be made more likely by your age. The doctor will examine your blood pressure, check the levels of protein and sugar in your urine, and check your blood glucose during prenatal visits. That lets them catch and treat problems early.

Consider optional tests for women over 35. Prenatal tests may be recommended for older mothers by the doctor. They can assist in determining whether your child is likely to have a birth defect. Consult your doctor about the tests so you can understand the risks and advantages and choose the procedure that is best for you.

Take prenatal vitamins. Every woman of childbearing age ought to take a prenatal vitamin every day that contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. Getting enough folic acid daily before and during the first three months of pregnancy can help stop brain and spinal cord defects in your unborn child. For older women who are more prone to giving birth to children with birth defects, taking folic acid provides additional protection. Some prenatal vitamins have 800-1,000 mcg of folic acid. This is still safe in pregnancy. In fact, some women require more than 400 mcg to prevent birth defects. Avoid exceeding 1,000 mcg (1 milligram) of folic acid intake without first consulting a physician. Women who have had a child with neural tube defects in the past require 4000 mcg.

It does get harder to become and stay pregnant as you age.

It’s important to take into account that [pregnancy] rates tend to decline with age, says Dr Minkin says. Though it may not be true that your chances of becoming pregnant drop precipitously once you turn 35, there is scientific evidence to support the notion that your fertility begins to decline more quickly than usual at that age. The issue here basically comes down to your eggs, Dr. We are born with all the eggs we will ever have, Minkin notes. Your number of viable eggs decreases as you age, and this typically begins to happen more quickly once you reach the age of 35. (You can read more about that here. ).

The chances of miscarriage (losing a pregnancy before 20 weeks gestation), according to ACOG, increase in pregnant women who are 35 and older. Early pregnancy loss is the term used for miscarriages that occur in the first trimester, which account for about 80% of all pregnancies. According to ACOG, the rates of clinically recognized early pregnancy loss by age are as follows (although rates could be higher because some early miscarriages go undetected):

  • 20-30 years old: up to 17 percent
  • 35 years old: 20 percent
  • 40 years old: 40 percent
  • 45 years old: 80 percent
  • The reason for these rising rates becomes clearer when you understand that around 50 percent of early pregnancy losses happen because of chromosomal abnormalities with the fetus, according to ACOG. “[Our eggs] get older as we get older,” Dr. Minkin says. “In the process of eggs ripening and separating into gametes, which are the [cells] that get together to make babies, more abnormalities can happen … proportional to age.”Most Popular

    Unfortunately, stillbirth, or losing a pregnancy after 20 weeks of gestation, is more frequent after age 35, according to ACOG. The reason for this is unclear, but experts are looking into potential explanations like a higher risk of placental problems in pregnant women who are 40 and older. (The placenta is very significant because it is the organ that develops within the womb during pregnancy to provide the fetus with essential nutrients and oxygen, according to the Mayo Clinic. ).

    Is any pregnancy after age 35 automatically a high-risk pregnancy?

    Many medical professionals are quick to refute the notion that a healthy pregnancy and a high-risk pregnancy are always and immediately distinguishable by age 35.

    Age 35 doesn’t have any special powers, as we’ve learned, says Sarah J Kilpatrick, M. D. , Ph. D. , Cedars-Sinai’s chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology, tells SELF “I would never advise someone to see a high-risk doctor simply because she is 35; only if something in her history or something that occurred during her pregnancy warrants it,” she said. ”.

    According to Dr. Kilpatrick, the notion that being 35 and pregnant constitutes a “geriatric pregnancy” appears to be based on dated data showing that being 35 or older increased the risk of various pregnancy complications. The reality is much more nuanced when it comes to how the likelihood of these complications changes with age (which we’ll discuss further down).

    Some physicians even minimize this type of statement to their patients. “I hate using the term ‘advanced maternal age,’” Dr. Despite being in perfect health, Minkin says, this language can make people feel like they’re too old to be pregnant or that they need to worry a lot about how age is affecting their pregnancy.

    With all of that (hopefully reassuring information) said, the chances of developing certain conditions or complications that can affect either you or the fetus or both do start rising after age 35, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). But it’s not at all a guarantee that getting pregnant at 35 or older means something will go wrong.

    Getting pregnant after 35: US research says reproductive years now extend to 37

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