In today’s society, more women are looking to wait to have children, possibly to pursue careers and other goals. An increasing number of women often prefer to start a family in their mid-30s while they’re still able to conceive. Although it’s possible to have a child after the age of 35, there are extra precautions that must be taken due to a higher risk of health conditions that can develop for both the mother and child. Fertility peaks in the mid-20s and begins to decline close to the age of 30. Those who are 30 have a 20 percent chance of becoming pregnant and women close to the age of 40 only have a five percent chance. To increase your chances of conceiving naturally and delivering a healthy baby, there are a few steps you should take ahead of time.
As a woman ages, her eggs begin to decline with each year that passes. It can often take longer to get pregnant due to limited eggs that are available with complications that can often occur after conception. Women over the age of 35 can suffer from gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and pregnancy loss. Women who are older also risk having a baby that has down syndrome due to chromosome problems that can occur. Those over the age of 35 also have a higher chance of delivering multiples.
The age of the male partner is also a factor when it comes to conceiving. Men who are five years older than a female who is in her late 30s reduce their chances of becoming pregnant by 15 percent. Experts recommend that women over the age of 35 try to conceive for six months before considering other options with a health professional. A common misconception is that fertility treatments can increase the chances of conception for those who are of an older age, but this is not true. The percentage of live births from IVF and similar treatments is 17 percent. However, having an egg donor can make it possible to have a child for those who have not had success with other methods.
For healthy fertility and pregnancy over the age of 35, it’s important to make smart decisions for the best possible outcome. One of the most important steps is receiving prenatal care, especially during the first two months of your pregnancy when health conditions most commonly develop. Prenatal vitamins are also essential to supplement for nutrients that are not consumed in the diet. Look for a product that contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid, which will prevent birth defects with the child and will promote proper development. Although it may be difficult to relax while trying to get pregnant and worrying about the future, prolonged stress and fear are the main factors that can make it difficult to conceive. This can increase alpha-amylase levels and reduce the risk of getting pregnant by up to 12 percent.
It’s important to speak to a health professional ahead of time before trying to conceive and keep an accurate record of the menstrual cycle, health problems and previous pregnancies. The physician will be able to provide a hormonal panel and specific tests that can improve the chances of conception that are specific to the individual. Diet also plays a significant role in conceiving and should contain omega 3s, zinc, fatty acids, vitamin E and magnesium. Women should also cut out smoking or alcohol from their diet.
Eating a healthy diet is even more important for women who are over the age of 35 who become pregnant. It’s important to consume foods that contain calcium, vitamin D, and iron. Stick to lean meats, fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and dairy. It’s recommended that pregnant women consume an average of 300 more calories per day than before they became pregnant. In the third trimester, an average of 600 more calories should be consumed to aid in the development of the fetus and supplement nutrients that are provided to the baby. To improve the baby’s nervous system and brain development, it’s important to have a daily intake of 250 micrograms of iodine, which can be found in foods that include yogurt, cottage cheese, navy beans, potatoes and milk. Activity levels should be kept to a minimum unless the mother was already active before becoming pregnant. Health professionals recommend brisk walking, yoga and pilates for exercises that will strengthen the muscles and help with delivery. Building stamina and boosting energy levels will also reduce pregnancy symptoms and improve the health of both the mother and child during the pregnancy.