Managing advanced maternal age risks with your Chicago obstetrician
As time has gone on, we have seen an increase in women choosing to become pregnant later in life. A quick glance through medical literature, however, can cause a great deal of stress for the “older” mother-to-be. Thirty-five is by no means aged as it pertains to general health and wellness. When planning pregnancy, however, there are certain considerations to make in order to properly manage advanced maternal age risks. The physician team at Northwestern Women’s Health Associates, in Chicago works with patients on a one-on-one basis to achieve optimal health for mom and baby during and after pregnancy.
- Family planning should ideally begin before you become pregnant. Your experienced physician can perform a thorough medical history and examination to confirm the absence of genetic issues that may impact pregnancy. Pre-pregnancy visits also cover important issues such as diet and lifestyle habits to promote conception and a healthy pregnancy. Medical problems should be brought under control, if necessary, so they will not have an effect on the future pregnancy.
- As age increases, conception may become more challenging. Working with your obstetrician, you can discover the steps to conception and determine if hormone levels are prime for becoming pregnant.
- Your doctor should be advised of all current medications, prescription and otherwise. Before becoming pregnant, it is important to ensure the body is ready and that there are no medications that could complicate pregnancy in the blood.
- Your doctor may suggest that certain supplementation begin while you are in the process of conception. Folic acid, in particular, is a supplement recommended for advanced maternal age as this acid can reduce the risk of neural tube defects in the growing fetus.
Prenatal care is vital to any mother-to-be. Routine prenatal care involves monitoring of fetal development and maternal health. With our patients, we discuss healthy dietary and exercise habits such as avoiding high-mercury foods like fish and the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Exercise during pregnancy is safe and beneficial but should not go beyond what was done before pregnancy. Obvious recommendations include avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drugs.
In addition to routine care, we will offer specific testing for the pregnancy that occurs later in life. The testing often includes stepwise ultrasound and blood tests, amniocentesis, CVS, or cell free DNA.
Patients with advanced maternal age have increased risks for gestational diabetes, hypertension which can cause preeclampsia, small fetal growth, or increased risk for cesarean section. Our practice screens for all of these, as we guide you through them to get a healthy pregnancy.
The team at Northwestern Women’s Health Associates has many years of experience with pregnancy and delivery, even those that are complicated. If you are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, schedule your visit with us sooner rather than later.