Advance maternal age pregnancy
How to take care of an advanced maternal age pregnancy?
The conveniences of the 21st Century have empowered women to have better control over their fertility. Easy access to birth control and contraception, has provided women a wide array of career choices and the ability to delay their maternal journey. However, mother nature has its own set of timelines.
From a maternity perspective, women are broadly classified into three categories. Women aged below 30 falls under the low-risk category, and women aged between 30-35 years are considered to be carrying a moderate risk. Women above the age of 35 and trying to conceive are considered to be in the high-risk bracket. This classification helps physicians to identify, monitor, and deliver the right care to their patients. While most of the time, even the women classified as high risk and are over 35 years of age do have a healthy pregnancy, yet the chances and concerns of risks must not be ruled out.
The risks of advanced maternal age pregnancy
The implications of age are very relevant and therefore the more advanced the maternal age is the risk. This implies that the conditions and complications are likely to be more in an older woman when compared to a younger woman, which may put the mother and the baby at risk.
Risk of complications may include:
Chances of having twins or multiples are high: The probability of having twins or multiples increases with maternal age. The chances also increase with fertility treatments, which are more common with older women. The risks while having multiples include premature birth, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy), and fetal growth problems.
Diabetes: Older women are more likely to be diabetic or to develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes). Diabetes when untreated can cause grave complications which include birth defects, excessive fetal growth (baby is too large), miscarriage, and pre-eclampsia.
High blood pressure: High blood pressure (or hypertension) is again something that tends to be prevalent in older women. They also tend to develop high blood pressure during pregnancy (gestational hypertension). The risks of such conditions could be life-threatening, including pre-eclampsia, problems with the placenta and fetal growth, pre-term delivery, and placental abruption.
Birth defects: Babies born to older women are at greater risk of birth defects caused by genetic disorders or chromosome problems, such as Down syndrome. These defects can cause problems in the overall health of the baby – how the body develops, or how the body functions.
Pregnancy loss: The chances of stillbirth or miscarriage increase with age.
Pre-eclampsia: Pre-eclampsia is a condition where an individual suffers from high blood pressure that is developed during pregnancy. One of the major causes of pregnancy-related deaths of both mother and baby is Pre-eclampsia. In such a condition, the blood supply to the fetus is reduced, the mother might face malfunctioning of various organs in her body, placental abruption (a condition where the placenta detaches from the womb), and pregnancy loss.
Premature birth and low birthweight: Premature babies may face serious health problems at birth and later in life.
If you are in the age group that puts you in the high-risk category, it would be important for you to plan before conceiving. Counselling and detailed discussions with your physician will help you understand as well as take the right steps to ensure a safe pregnancy.
Expert assessment of the age-related risks to you and your baby
Early and more frequent prenatal visits to closely monitor your pregnancy and quickly address any complications
Regular monitoring and early detection and treatment of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure
Coordinated management of any pre-existing conditions and medications you take for those conditions, in collaboration with your other health care providers
Ongoing monitoring of your baby’s growth and development
A carefully planned delivery, preventing the need for a cesarean delivery when possible
Birth defect screening, testing, and counseling
Advanced maternal age pregnancy and Genetic counseling
Genetic Counseling and Testing play a significant part in ensuring a safe and healthy pregnancy. Genetic counselling can help you learn about your genetic risk and the best reproductive options. G is considered to be one of the best modes of treatment for every woman with advanced maternal age.
It is highly recommended for women in the categories of high or moderate risk should undergo genetic counselling. Based on the diagnosis, they can plan the next steps and make informed decisions.
Genetic counseling and testing will enable you to make decisions best suited for the baby and you. It will also help you prepare for the care that your baby might need in case of any unforeseen situation.
truGeny – Your answer for a safe pregnancy
truGeny, India’s first tele-genetics platform helps you with genetic risk evaluation and guides you through your pregnancy journey. Certified and expert genetic counsellors will firstly perform a genetic diagnosis and your risk evaluation. The counselors will help you understand the risks that you and/or your baby might be susceptible to after learning your medical history and your family’s health history. Based on the risk evaluation, they will guide you if you need to undergo Genetic Testing. The experts will also help you understand your genetic test report. Based on your report, they will also guide you on the best course of action.
While these are some of the steps that you could take for ensuring a safe and healthy pregnancy journey, you must remember that genetics plays a very important role in pregnancy as well as in the future of your baby’s health. Genetic Counselling and Testing is a path to safe pregnancy. Book your appointment now! Visit www.trugeny.com