Late pregnancy: Pregnant at 35? Here’s what you need to know

Effect of age on pregnancy

In India, people get paranoid and tend to overestimate the risks of late pregnancy or when women are over the age of 35 and pregnant. Relax. Even If you're above 35, but you’re are healthy, there’s no scientific reason as to why you cannot have a normal pregnancy. And remember, these guidelines are specially for women who are pregnant for the first time past the age of 35.

Risks in pregnancy after 35

The doctors anticipate that women over 35 are more likely to have certain pregnancy complications - gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, high blood pressure, premature birth and placenta praevia among others. But this is statistical and there are women who are way under 35 who sometimes face these conditions too. However, factually it is more common for older women to miscarry or have an ectopic pregnancy.

Even though things have improved in medical technology, statistics still show that the possibility of having a stillborn baby doubles after the mom is above 35 and is 5x more if she is above 40. Moreover, genetic and chromosomal defects are also more likely. It has been estimated that the possibility of having a baby with a chromosomal defect, such as in Down's syndrome, is highest for women over the age of 40.

Care to take while pregnant at 35

Rest assured that your doctor is well aware of these slightly elevated risks for older women during your prenatal visits. Usually, an amniocentesis is mandatorily performed (this is the inspection if the fluid from your amniotic sac - the sac that holds your baby) to determine if the baby has any chromosomal/genetic defects. This happens at the end of the first trimester. Also, you can be assured that doctors are more aware and alert than ever to detect any anomalies in the first weeks of your pregnancy and are vigilant when it comes to the last few weeks.

Apart from this knowledge, the rest of the pregnancy advice remains pretty much the same - eat healthy, exercise regularly, don’t smoking or drink, and in general maintain a healthy lifestyle. And don’t fret - the chances you’ll have a perfectly healthy baby is pretty high.