Geriatric Pregnancy AKA Getting Pregnant After 35

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If you’ve stumbled upon this page, chances are you might have overheard the doctors and nurses mentioning the term Geriatric Pregnancy. Okay, so you’ve decided to become parents later than some, but you’re healthy, and the baby’s thriving, so what’s the big deal with geriatric pregnancy? Is it something older parents have to be concerned about? 

In the medical world, a geriatric pregnancy is a rarely used term for having a baby when the woman is over the age of 35. It is not a condition or something you should be worried about because it is merely just a medical term. Besides, there have been plenty of healthy women who were pregnant after the age of 35 (some even in their 40s) who have successfully delivered healthy babies. 

So why bother with such a fancy name, though, one might ask? In the past, women who were pregnant and over the age of 35 were labelled by doctors as “geriatric pregnancies”. To further understand why this term was discontinued, you would first need to understand what “geriatric” means. 

“Geriatric” is a term used in relation to old people, especially regarding their healthcare. Not only is this term inaccurate because it suggests a physically unfit person, but it also degrades women who choose to have kids later. Even with mums thriving past 35, unfortunately, there is still the social stigma surrounding those who choose to start a family later in life. As a result, this can sometimes stir up insecurities and add unnecessary and anxiety to what could just be a normal and uneventful pregnancy! In bids to stop classifying women in such horrible light, the medical world put an end to the term “geriatric pregnancy” to mothers of “advanced maternal age.”

Geriatric pregnancy risks

Having babies at an advanced maternal age is not without risks. Unlike men who continue to produce sperm in their testicles, women are born with their entire lifetime supply of eggs, which is fixed. Women cannot regenerate these eggs, so he will slowly begin losing those eggs as she ages. 

Studies have found that women in their 30s would have lost 90 per cent of their eggs, with only 3 per cent remaining by the time they reach 40. When you have fewer eggs to choose from, there is a higher risk of abnormalities in pregnancies when conceiving later in life. Some of the risks faced by mothers of advanced maternal age during pregnancy include:

  • premature birth
  • low birth weight in the baby
  • stillbirth
  • chromosomal defects in the baby
  • labour complications
  • cesarean section
  • high blood pressure in the mother, which can lead to preeclampsia, and early birth for the baby
  • gestational diabetes, which also increases the risk of diabetes later in life

Other complications include hypertension, spontaneous abortion, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and chromosomal abnormalities like Down Syndrome. 

At the age of 35, the risk of having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities is 1 in 20. At 37 years, it increases to 1 in 130, and at 39, the chances are 1 in 81 pregnancies. Things can get pretty scary when a woman reaches 42 years of age because the probability of chromosomal abnormalities becomes 1 in every 39 pregnancies.

And as if that wasn’t enough, age also plays a part in breastfeeding. Even though it isn’t entirely impossible, breastfeeding experts say it would be difficult for mothers of maternal age to breastfeed, especially those who had medical assistance to become or stay pregnant. But thanks to advancements in obstetrics and gynaecology over the years, birth rates have improved, and women today have access to better health checks, genetic screening, diagnostic and counselling options to understand their pregnancies better.

Pros of a geriatric pregnancy

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We know that sounds like a lot of cons up there, but having a baby later in life isn’t all that bad. Sure, there are some health risks involved, but becoming a mum after the age of 35 can be a good thing. First of all, mothers who wait to have children would have more resources and benefits at their disposal. They would be more financially able to care for their children because they have higher incomes and more education. 

To keep up with the day-to-day’s hustle and bustle, we always see young parents working hard to make ends meet, both still struggling to build their careers while juggling a family. In contrast, parents who wait longer to start a family would have already built their career, travel the world and have a roof over their head. With years of experience, they aren’t afraid to speak up. They can also afford to slow down because they have already achieved everything they have set out to achieve. Hence later is better because it means both parents would be more stable financially and emotionally. They will also be able to dedicate more time to build a stronger parent-child relationship.

Other pros include giving birth to children with sharper cognition and verbal memory while another study found that women who delay having children are more likely to live a longer life compared to women who had their last child before age 30! 

Sure, you might not have as much energy to run after toddlers compared to when you were younger, but for some parents, this is a risk that they are willing to take. Hence it is always best to talk to your doctor so that you are aware of the possible risks involved. 

Conclusion: should you be concerned?

It is only normal to feel slightly nervous when there are so many potential complications stacked up against you as a mum of advanced maternal age. But as long as you are healthy and your doctor thinks you are healthy, there is no reason to believe why you can’t have a successful pregnancy as well. 

Just like all pregnancies, you should:

  • continue to keep yourself healthy
  • do light exercises regularly
  • eating healthily
  • take prenatal vitamins and folic acid 
  • avoiding drugs, raw food, smoking, and alcohol

Another thing to note is that the older you are, the less likely you would be having a vaginal delivery, so remember to speak to your doctor about this and it wouldn’t hurt to discuss backup birth plans. 

Geriatric Pregnancy AKA Getting Pregnant After 35

JxxaW9BM 5PoT49 RpF3iztBeaEGBuynrfemEeWBwp8T oYwadHbcYKgkx7ck3vOsN0gDNlX KX3xUDH3XMTigpU7r2jsUzyDpHDOm4VWiwoHhvM0aRFTTzshZeLw4m GylHBTcMYFX6n VY2XPPYwCXr0WqiFndiy2BHwe5lRRggc2idy0IE5fq

If you’ve stumbled upon this page, chances are you might have overheard the doctors and nurses mentioning the term Geriatric Pregnancy. Okay, so you’ve decided to become parents later than some, but you’re healthy, and the baby’s thriving, so what’s the big deal with geriatric pregnancy? Is it something older parents have to be concerned about? 

In the medical world, a geriatric pregnancy is a rarely used term for having a baby when the woman is over the age of 35. It is not a condition or something you should be worried about because it is merely just a medical term. Besides, there have been plenty of healthy women who were pregnant after the age of 35 (some even in their 40s) who have successfully delivered healthy babies. 

So why bother with such a fancy name, though, one might ask? In the past, women who were pregnant and over the age of 35 were labelled by doctors as “geriatric pregnancies”. To further understand why this term was discontinued, you would first need to understand what “geriatric” means. 

“Geriatric” is a term used in relation to old people, especially regarding their healthcare. Not only is this term inaccurate because it suggests a physically unfit person, but it also degrades women who choose to have kids later. Even with mums thriving past 35, unfortunately, there is still the social stigma surrounding those who choose to start a family later in life. As a result, this can sometimes stir up insecurities and add unnecessary and anxiety to what could just be a normal and uneventful pregnancy! In bids to stop classifying women in such horrible light, the medical world put an end to the term “geriatric pregnancy” to mothers of “advanced maternal age.”

Geriatric pregnancy risks

Having babies at an advanced maternal age is not without risks. Unlike men who continue to produce sperm in their testicles, women are born with their entire lifetime supply of eggs, which is fixed. Women cannot regenerate these eggs, so he will slowly begin losing those eggs as she ages. 

Studies have found that women in their 30s would have lost 90 per cent of their eggs, with only 3 per cent remaining by the time they reach 40. When you have fewer eggs to choose from, there is a higher risk of abnormalities in pregnancies when conceiving later in life. Some of the risks faced by mothers of advanced maternal age during pregnancy include:

  • premature birth
  • low birth weight in the baby
  • stillbirth
  • chromosomal defects in the baby
  • labour complications
  • cesarean section
  • high blood pressure in the mother, which can lead to preeclampsia, and early birth for the baby
  • gestational diabetes, which also increases the risk of diabetes later in life

Other complications include hypertension, spontaneous abortion, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and chromosomal abnormalities like Down Syndrome. 

At the age of 35, the risk of having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities is 1 in 20. At 37 years, it increases to 1 in 130, and at 39, the chances are 1 in 81 pregnancies. Things can get pretty scary when a woman reaches 42 years of age because the probability of chromosomal abnormalities becomes 1 in every 39 pregnancies.

And as if that wasn’t enough, age also plays a part in breastfeeding. Even though it isn’t entirely impossible, breastfeeding experts say it would be difficult for mothers of maternal age to breastfeed, especially those who had medical assistance to become or stay pregnant. But thanks to advancements in obstetrics and gynaecology over the years, birth rates have improved, and women today have access to better health checks, genetic screening, diagnostic and counselling options to understand their pregnancies better.

Pros of a geriatric pregnancy

KZP0q9WE9Cc R8o3RE lZDCMRYZZHTGRFqs9KX0RHgJiTKQyLMeEbVAv36MOvdetOoo1V8ZgIQYJ5gHg11faM80IG5IjfkYIp kQhjfFcQW7AZ3Q7obxSGIIAaaYGWGfEFlyd2ZKvl z9lyIuSND23S5hjtrHb3a8VGn 96OPCeJn3Uv8r6UGS3

We know that sounds like a lot of cons up there, but having a baby later in life isn’t all that bad. Sure, there are some health risks involved, but becoming a mum after the age of 35 can be a good thing. First of all, mothers who wait to have children would have more resources and benefits at their disposal. They would be more financially able to care for their children because they have higher incomes and more education. 

To keep up with the day-to-day’s hustle and bustle, we always see young parents working hard to make ends meet, both still struggling to build their careers while juggling a family. In contrast, parents who wait longer to start a family would have already built their career, travel the world and have a roof over their head. With years of experience, they aren’t afraid to speak up. They can also afford to slow down because they have already achieved everything they have set out to achieve. Hence later is better because it means both parents would be more stable financially and emotionally. They will also be able to dedicate more time to build a stronger parent-child relationship.

Other pros include giving birth to children with sharper cognition and verbal memory while another study found that women who delay having children are more likely to live a longer life compared to women who had their last child before age 30! 

Sure, you might not have as much energy to run after toddlers compared to when you were younger, but for some parents, this is a risk that they are willing to take. Hence it is always best to talk to your doctor so that you are aware of the possible risks involved. 

Conclusion: should you be concerned?

It is only normal to feel slightly nervous when there are so many potential complications stacked up against you as a mum of advanced maternal age. But as long as you are healthy and your doctor thinks you are healthy, there is no reason to believe why you can’t have a successful pregnancy as well. 

Just like all pregnancies, you should:

  • continue to keep yourself healthy
  • do light exercises regularly
  • eating healthily
  • take prenatal vitamins and folic acid 
  • avoiding drugs, raw food, smoking, and alcohol

Another thing to note is that the older you are, the less likely you would be having a vaginal delivery, so remember to speak to your doctor about this and it wouldn’t hurt to discuss backup birth plans. 

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