Pregnancy after 40: pros and cons
Modern medicine has leaped forward: late pregnancy and childbirth have ceased to be so risky. The progressive development of society, modern methods of diagnosis and safe obstetric care give a woman the opportunity to consciously approach pregnancy and the birth of a child at an older age. But no matter how far the medicine has advanced, there are certain health risks for both the woman and the future baby.
What are the risks of pregnancy in 40+
From a medical point of view, late childbirth is considered the first pregnancy and childbirth in a woman after 35 years. Therefore, if you initially want to become a mother not earlier than 35-40 years, or even older, then you should be more careful about your health. Women aged 40–45 find it harder to conceive a child than at 25–30, to carry a baby, and the risk of developing fetal pathologies increases with age, childbirth is more difficult (many later mothers generally recommend a cesarean section). This does not mean at all that becoming a mother in 40+ is categorically dangerous and it is worth giving up such a thought. You need to weigh all possible risks in advance and responsibly approach your pregnancy and the upcoming delivery.
So, if there were no problems with conception (for many women after 40, the problem of conceiving a child is quite common), then the next rice is to successfully endure the pregnancy itself. By mature age, the condition of the uterus worsens, chromosomal defects accumulate, the risk of miscarriage increases. Therefore, it is important that the pregnancy in 40+ proceeds under the supervision of a doctor, the expectant mother does not overwork, rest, eat well, attend special gymnastics under the supervision of an instructor, etc.
Shortness of breath, swelling, “jumps” in blood pressure are not a complete list of the “charms” that accompany late pregnancy. Therefore, it is important that a woman does not have excess weight – this makes the pregnancy process even more difficult. The chances of a successful late pregnancy significantly reduces the systematic smoking of a woman and the regular use of alcohol (even if it was before conception).
Advantages of pregnancy in 40 years: psychological and physical factors
If pregnancy and childbirth after 40 years (especially the first), then the woman, being an adult and more experienced in life, takes a more responsible approach both to her state of health and to the baby. Older parents already have wealth, they can give the child more than young parents who do not have their own housing, work, etc. As psychologists say, the older the parents, the smarter their children: “late” kids more often overtake their peers in development.
In addition, a woman’s body is rejuvenated, because at the age of 40 and older, hidden reserves of the female body are included. If late pregnancy passes without complications and there are no recommendations for cesarean section, then natural childbirth will also contribute to the rapid restoration of the body, hormonal changes and the woman, as it were, “opens a second breath.”
It is important to pass all examinations and not to ignore the recommendations of the doctor.
In addition to standard examinations for all pregnant women, an obstetrician-gynecologist may recommend additional examinations for women in 40+. Fetal ultrasound is routinely performed three times: the first examination will help exclude (or confirm) the pathology of Down syndrome. But you should not panic, although this pathology is associated with age, the true cause of this genetic disorder has not been fully investigated and is not identified.
Also, at 15-18 weeks of pregnancy, alpha-fetoprotein is donated blood: this test helps to calculate the individual risks of developing an anomaly in a future baby. Tests involving the taking of samples for analysis by penetrating the uterus (invasive) can only be prescribed when the need arises, according to the indications and on the recommendation of a physician.