It is a common knowledge that women become less fertile as they age. Studies and research show that once women reach the age of 35, the percentage of successful conception decline to 82% (from the 92% for the age of 19 to 26). In obstetrics terms, expectant mothers from 35 year old are even termed “elderly”.
The truth is, most doctors will tell you that the age of 35 is not a magic line that once you cross, you can no longer be healthily pregnant. There are many factors to affect how healthy your pregnancy will be, that includes your biological health. If you are healthy and physically fit, the chance is that your pregnancy will be a healthy one too.
In this modern age, recent studies have shown health complications and conditions traditionally associated with pregnancy after the age of 35 (such as Down syndrome) has significantly declined. Healthy pregnancy at the age of 35 is not too difficult to achieve. With proper diet, regular exercise and a healthy daily routine, your odds of pregnancy complications will drop.
That said, it is better to be safe than sorry – so here are some tips and tricks for a healthy pregnancy after the age of 35:
• Maintain a good health before planning your pregnancy
If you have pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, get treatment for them as soon as possible. Do not delay treatment. The medication might change during the course of your pregnancy though. So always let your doctor know about your pregnancy plan early. Needless to say, it is important to eat nutritious foods, daily physical exercise and a regular routine consisting of plenty of rest and water.
• Preconception check-ups
Such check-ups will ensure that you and your partner are generally healthy and help detect fertility problems that may decrease your chance of getting pregnant, and if you do have them, discuss the available treatment options with your doctor. Before your check-ups, it is wise to make a list of health conditions that run in your family. Some may affect your pregnancy, some may not, so it is best to discuss these conditions with your doctor. Make a record of your monthly menstrual cycle so your doctor can better evaluate you during your check-ups. During your pregnancy, follow the doctor-recommended prenatal check-up schedule. This is to allow your doctor to prevent, identify and manage problems early.
• Unhealthy habits
In preparation for your pregnancy, consume healthy food and avoid processed or preserved food. Stop unhealthy vices, these include but is not limited to smoking cigarettes, drinking alcoholic beverages, taking illegal drugs and unnecessary medication. You may seek help from health professionals to increase your chance of having a healthy pregnancy.
Your doctor may recommend some blood tests to help determine which supplement is best for you. Find out from your doctor what test/s to consider. Examples of these supplements are folic acid and iron.