Pregnancy Past 35: Truth and Myth
Updated: Oct 2, 2019
The dreaded age of 35....
When your twenties seem to be the distant past and 40 seems to be lurking around the corner!
As a society, we are afraid of aging and getting older in general. Many people--- and maybe YOU--- don't even like to tell their family their age! Many of us go through treatments to make sure that no one can tell our bodies are getting older. This includes dying grey hairs, treatments for stretch marks, etc. Many of us don't want to show that we have truly experienced life...
Women in society feel as though they are not allowed to look or act old. Why is this? Yes we are a symbol of beauty, new life, etc. -- but that doesn't mean we aren't human!
An off shoot of this 'youthful stigma' is that women should have children by the age of 35.
Many women today are balancing relationships, families, AND successful careers. We ROCK! But many women feel rushed to have children--- to the point where they sacrifice one aspect of their lives for the other to appease the 'biological clock,' as it were.
You have more time than you may think.
Your fertility may not be as 'pressing' as once believed....
Past statistical data about women's fertility was gathered in 1600's to the 1800's.
Wait --- WHAT?! Listen Mamas--- that is TOO OLD information to not be questioned!
More recent studies show that women 35-39 years of age having sex twice a week were 82% likely to get pregnant. Obviously, there are variations within fertility cycles to be accounted for. However---there are many women that we know that have become pregnant well after 35 and even into their 40's and 50's---depending on when a women goes through menopause.
If you have been pregnant before, you are more likely to get pregnant again within 6 months of trying even after the age of 35. Weight status as well as personal genetics play a larger roll in the ability to conceive. Many young women in their 20's have difficulty with fertility based on their own genetic background and only 1% of babies born every year are from fertility treatments.
Okay---so what about birth risks associated with older age?
Many birth defects are sorted out before you even know you are pregnant. Many women are pregnant more times than they even know due to the body miscarrying a fertilized egg that has abnormalities.
As of right now, there are more babies born with down syndrome to women under the age of 35. This is because more women under the age of 35 are having babies, which begs the question, does increased age really impact the risk that much?
When tested, 99% of fetuses for 35 year olds and 97% of fetuses for 40 year olds were considered 'chromosomally normal' (normal DNA).
While yes---fertility does decline with age, it is not the abrupt drop off once you turn 35 that has been portrayed to women-- it is morlike a gradual decline.
One thing to be concerned about is High Blood pressure during pregnancy.
Studies have found that with increased age came a 6% higher risk of hypertension during pregnancy. A.k.a. a 40 year old has a 30% higher risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy that can cause complications during the full pregnancy.
With that being said, there are many other risk factors for increased blood pressure such as gender, ethnicity, BMI, genetics, etc. Meaning that unless you have these other risk factors, being 35 or older will not significantly increase your chances of high blood pressure during pregnancy (unless it is with the above mentioned risk factors).
To find out more about risks associated with high blood pressure in pregnancy, check out our blog post here!
Many women want to have children at a younger age because they feel like they will be less tired and they will be younger when their children are 'all grown up'.
Others want to focus on a career and live a life that is just their own without having to worry about having a baby. Either option is a good option as long as it makes YOU happy! No need to feel like you have to sacrifice an aspect of your life because you feel like you have a clock ticking and time is running out.
If you liked this information and felt EMPOWERED by being not only a woman, but a MAMA--- then we want to hear from you! We want to be the wind beneath your sails as you fly off to be the incredible woman and mother you were meant to be---at whatever age you want!
To learn more about real, science based maternal nutrition and breastfeeding content/how it relates to you and YOUR PREGNANCY---check out our website and join us today!
Until next time!
Mikayla and Cassie
Mamas Maternal Health Registered Dietitians/Lactation Counselors
Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash
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