GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD)e - While many women are waiting until their mid-30's to start a family, studies show that women may face special risks as the clock tics. Doctor Jessica Lalley with the Spectrum Health Medical Group shares what women need to know about pregnancy for women 35+. Part of what she advises before your pregnancy is this:
o Start at your best state of health: optimize your weight (BMI 19-26 ideally), no smoking, limit alcohol and unhealthy carbs
o Take a prenatal vitamin with 400-1000mcg of folic acid
o Get a good checkup with your doctor prior to pregnancy, make sure blood pressure is normal, review safety of any medications in pregnancy
o Update any vaccines needed: Tdap, flu, rubella
Take these Fertility Facts into consideration:
o Chance of pregnancy declines with age, especially over age 37. Thus women >35 wanting to conceive should seek evaluation and potential treatment after six months of attempts, possibly even sooner if other risk factors (ovarian surgery, endometriosis, family history early menopause, thyroid disease, etc).
Once you are pregnant after age 35:
o Chromosomal risks increase with maternal age: must consider non-invasive and invasive testing for chromosomal abnormalities (Nuchal screening, amniocentesis, CVS, Materniti21)
o Increased risks of other pregnancy complications: multiple gestation, gestational diabetes, blood pressure disorders, thus good prenatal care is important for monitoring
o Review medication safety with your doctor. Remember that older women can make wonderful mothers and overall health may be more important than age
Pregnancy at 35+
Jessica J. Lalley
SHMG Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women's Health
Spectrum Health Medical Group
3800 Lake Michigan Drive NW Suite 101
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