Risks and realities of Advanced Maternal Age

OBGYN Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, MD, shares advice on the risks and realities associated with pregnancy in advanced maternal age after the age of 35
Advanced Maternal Age - Risks and Realities
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Risks and realities of Advanced Maternal Age

Comment
868
Like
868
Transcription: 
Advance maternal age is the label given to any woman whose baby is delivered after she turns 35. Why 35? What magically happens at 35? Well, 35 was the age which the risk of delivering a baby with down syndrome equal the risk of an amniocentesis. So, an amniocentesis was traditionally offered at the age of 35 or over and that's where that number came to be such a big deal. As we age, our ovaries produce fewer and fewer eggs and the quality of those eggs becomes less fabulous. It is harder to get pregnant, and once we do get pregnant, it is more common to have a miscarriage because of chromosomal abnormalities and if the baby does continue to have a baby that has chromosomal abnormalities. These being said, also, the older we get, we have conditions like diabetes and hypertension more frequently that can complicate pregnancies. Once a woman does get pregnant, tests can be done, both screening and diagnostic, to ensure that the baby is chromosomally normal if the woman wants to find out that information. Statutory on to the Sunday, older women also are more likely to get pregnant with multiple twins and triplets. Once a woman who is over 35 is comfortable with her pregnancy, it is very important that she gets adequate prenatal care. Women who are of advance maternal age have a higher risk of gestational diabetes, they have a higher risk of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. So, prenatal care is extremely important. In addition, women who are over 40 have the risk of pretermed delivery and even so born. So, sometimes, women who are over 40 will get additional monitoring and it's something to just be aware of. Also, women who are older have an increased risk to primary C section and we're not exactly sure why that is. At the end of the day, women who are over 35 and even over 40 generally have very successful healthy deliveries. But, it's important to be aware of the risks and to make sure that you're doing everything in your power to minimize them. Make sure you're taking your prenatal vitamins with folic acid. Make sure that you're getting adequate prenatal care and you're looking for certain maternal conditions like diabetes and hypertension that can complicate the pregnancy.

OBGYN Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, MD, shares advice on the risks and realities associated with pregnancy in advanced maternal age after the age of 35

Transcript

Expert Bio

More from Expert

Lauren D. Hyman, MD

Obstetrician Gynecologist

Dr. Lauren Hyman is a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist. After receiving her ScB from Brown University and her medical degree from Yale University, Dr. Hyman returned to Southern California where she has been in private practice in the West Hills area for fifteen years. She can be seen weekly on Hallmark Channelʼs Home and Family Pregnancy Series and is a contributing writer on mom.me. She lives with her husband and two children in Los Angeles.

More Parenting Videos from Lauren D. Hyman, MD >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter