Getting pregnant at 30 years old and above can, in fact, become more complex and challenging, but it doesn’t need to be. The risks of pregnancy can happen at any age, as it can and even more when you’re in your late 30s. Some of those risks include preterm labor, premature birth, gestational diabetes, cesarean delivery, low birth weight, and preeclampsia. It is vital to discuss your situation with your primary doctor and attend your regular prenatal checkups to ensure you and your baby’s health and safety. “Your physical well-being during pregnancy depends more on who you are than how old you are,” says Dr. Robert H. Berry, MD. The sooner you’ll discover about potential complications, the more choices you can have for treatment. It doesn’t mean to say that just because you are at the age where complications are possible, that you are going to go through one.
According to Jean M Twenge Ph.D., “When a woman over 35 has problems getting pregnant, fertility issues other than age are usually the culprit, including male issues such as sperm count and motility—almost half of fertility problems are due to male issues.”
Genetic examinations are becoming more popular these days. Genetic testing is usually recommended for women in their 30s, but several women below 30 also undergo genetic screening. Reports from the National Down Syndrome Society reveal that women who get pregnant at 30 and above have one out of 940 risks of giving birth to an infant with Down Syndrome. This risk rises at the age of 35, and finally, an 85% chance when the woman gets pregnant in her 40s.
If the tests confirm that your pregnancy has 1 out of 147 chances of delivering a baby with Down syndrome, this will be defined as a positive test. Your risk of having a baby with Down syndrome is higher. Genetic screening will not show with certainty that your newborn does have a genetic problem but simply that it calculates the hazards when compared to your age bracket.
“Even as more women wait until their mid-thirties and early forties to become parents, most physicians consider them to be of “advanced maternal age” and high risk simply because they’re older. In one way, the extra attention paid to each advanced maternal aged patient is reassuring,” Susan Newman Ph.D. explains.
Labor And Delivery
When your pregnancy is confirmed, it is now time to decide whether you should have the baby or not. The reports are the same – going through labor has higher chances of experiencing complications. If this is not your first baby, though, the risks are lower for you compared to the woman between 30 and 40 and having her first baby.
Complications that are associated with pregnancy may be a sign that you will be having quite a difficult time in labor. This increases your risk of delivering through a cesarean method in some cases, although this will mostly depend on your choice of an obstetrician, the location of your delivery (hospital, clinic, etc.), and a stroke of luck.
Your Newborn’s Health
Generally, the risks are not so high for your baby if you are in your early and mid-30s. This does go up as you reach your late 30s, which may also be due to chronic conditions and genetic factors as well. Once you have information about these, you are advised to visit your obstetrician or midwife immediately.
It is true that when you are pregnant in your 30s, your challenges may be more difficult compared to those in their younger years. Regardless, the number of women who decide to give birth in their 30s is increasing, so it would be wise to start healthy by going to your obstetrician for appropriate prenatal care. If you do this and continue to do so throughout your whole pregnancy, your chances of delivering a normal baby are much higher. Be happy for this blessing and seize the opportunity. Appreciate your pregnancy. This is a joyous time in your life.