Did you know that the average age of mothers has been increasing? In 2020, the average age of mothers was around 31. Many women are deciding to have babies later in life, focusing on other priorities in their twenties and thirties. Women who fall pregnant after 35 are referred to as ‘advanced maternal age’.
Many women have healthy pregnancies and deliveries over the age of 35, but also face increased risk and challenges during pregnancy and childbirth. A high-risk pregnancy means you and your baby will be specially monitored and require special care to avoid complications.
Here are five things you should know about having a baby over 35:
One of the biggest challenges you face having a baby over 35 is your fertility is declining. Women are born with a certain amount of eggs, and as you age the quality and quantity of these eggs declines. For some women, it’s harder to fall pregnant.
If you’re having trouble conceiving, Grace Private Gold Coast fertility specialists can discuss the options available to help you fulfil your dream of having a baby.
Older women having babies have a higher risk of pregnancy complications. If you’re over 35, you’re more likely to develop gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and other pregnancy-related conditions. You are also at a higher risk of complications during labour and delivery, such as premature birth and the need for a c-section.
Our Gold Coast obstetricians care for many pregnant women over the age of 35 and ensure they support you every step of the way. Sometimes, your obstetrician will suggest additional monitoring and tests throughout your pregnancy.
Women having babies after 35 have an increased risk of having a baby with a genetic disorder. Your obstetrician may recommend genetic testing to screen for conditions such as down syndrome, cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy. It’s important to talk with your doctor about the options for genetic testing.
If you’re over 35, you may be more likely to have an induced labour, epidural anaesthesia, or forceps delivery. There’s also a higher chance of caesarean delivery. This is mainly due to the risks associated with being over 35 when you give birth. Many women, however, still have natural births without complications when they are over 35.
Having a baby over 35 can come with some unique challenges, but many women experience pregnancies and birth without any complications. Women over 35 can have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies with the right care and support.
In addition, Dr. Olog is the only Maternal Foetal Medicine specialist on the Gold Coast who also offers obstetric services. We understand not every pregnancy is the same, and our obstetricians have years of experience managing complex pregnancies.
If you’d like a Grace Private obstetrician to care for you throughout your pregnancy, ‘ask for Grace’ when you next visit your GP for a referral.