I was shocked when I discovered that I was pregnant with my third child. I had been taking birth control pills for more than a year and we hadn’t planned on having more children. Still, many thoughts scattered through my brain when the white stick produced two pink lines. “Would we need a bigger house?” “Would we need a bigger car?” “Would I ever get my waist back?” When I found out, I was already 35 years old. It never crossed my mind that this pregnancy could be different based on my age.
In fact, I never even thought about it until I was at a prenatal check-up and my doctor informed me that I could have additional prenatal tests and they would be covered by my insurance due to my age. This puzzled me. Health wise, I didn’t feel any different from my first two pregnancies, but suddenly I was in a different category. This introduced more questions and I wondered if I should be worried about my health or my baby’s. Here is some reassuring research I found.
According to babiesonline.com, here are some facts:
“One in five women today delays pregnancy until after the age of 35 and over the last 15 or so years there has been a 50 percent increase in first births to women over 40 years old. Another interesting fact about getting pregnant at an older age is that although fertility levels fall, the odds of having twins increases. While the use of fertility treatment increases the occurrence of multiples, older women can also naturally have twins without medical intervention.”
“The risk involved it is really not as high as you may be led to believe. In fact, once a woman over age 35 is healthy and has no fertility issues, she has almost the same chance of a healthy baby as a 20-year old. Still, the main risks associated with getting pregnant after 35 include increased risk of miscarriage, a drop in fertility levels, health problems for the mother such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, endometriosis and fibroids, and an increased risk of Down’s Syndrome.”
“Helpful tips in preparing for pregnancy at any age include a pre-conception check-up, maintaining a healthy diet (including avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and drug use), adding folic acid to your daily vitamin supplements, and maintaining a moderate level of physical activity.”
My doctor made no issue of my age and I spent my time enjoying my pregnancy instead of worrying about it. At the age of 36, I gave birth to a healthy and wonderful 8 pound, 1 ounce baby boy.