As an older mum, what can I do to ensure a healthy pregnancy?
While we are capable of reproducing as early as puberty, it is important to know that becoming pregnant after 35 years of age increases the risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy and the necessity of having a caesarian section at delivery. The risk of chromosomal abnormalities also rises with maternal age, and while it is possible to screen for them, testing is a decision that should be taken seriously depending on how you would cope with the results.
That said, a healthy pregnancy is possible regardless of your age. Whether this is your first, second or last pregnancy, you may find yourself more tired from having to cope with work, childcare, hormones and other hurdles that pregnancy can make more challenging.
Keep fit, take your prescribed vitamins and other medication as advised by your doctor to be able to cope with the pregnancy, delivery and care of a newborn. Medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension not only affect the pregnancy but your long term health so it is important to be aware of your blood pressure and blood sugar levels during pregnancy.
Dr. Mandy Abushama
FRCOG, DFFP, Dobs, MSc., Fetomaternal Medical Centre, Asst. Professor Weill Cornell, Director of Qatar Branch of the Ian Donald School of Ultrasound