- Women's Health
Risk Pregnancy at age 40
Getting pregnant in your 40 is not easy. There are risks with pregnancy at that age or above, but there are also some advantages to put off the pregnancy. Some women are really successful to have babies in their 40s, like my friend, she had her 3rd child in her 40s and she had a beautiful and healthy baby girl.
Woman in their 40s used to be more mature in financial and emotional, and more steady in their relationship with their partner. More open and willing to give breastfeeding and etc. But sometime there are risks to have baby in that age. Pregnancy at 40s is high risk not just for mom but also for the baby.
Some of the risks are :
1. Hypertension (Preeclampsia)
The normal blood pressures in a non-pregnant condition is below 140/90, or about 120/80 to 140/90. And if you're pregnant, the blood pressures tend to be a little lower, from 90/50 to 110/70. Mine used to be 100/65, but if you have hypertension during the pregnancy, it may cause serious complications for mother and baby.
Some women do have problems with hypertension during pregnancy. Some have before pregnancy, others develop during pregnancy.
High blood pressure can damage a woman's kidneys, liver, and brain. This may cause low birth weight for the baby. Because the fetus can not get enough nutrients, for the oxygen supply is affected by the constricted blood vessels in the uterus.
Hypertension can also cause a premature delivery, before 9 months or 37 weeks of pregnancy. Babies are at increased risk for health problems during the newborn period and lasting disabilities, like cerebral palsy and difficulties in learning things.
Hypertension may cause heavy bleeding and shock which are dangerous for both mother and the baby.
2. Bleeding during delivery (post partum bleeding)
Postpartum bleeding is normal, every new mom have it but you may take it seriously when you have what it calls a late postpartum hemorrhage or a delayed postpartum. It is a bleeding that occurs between 24 hours and 12 weeks after childbirth.
If this happen, you may call for help. You may call help if you're bleeding continuously more than one sanitary pad in an hour (I remembered the nurse told me this and thank God it did not happen to me).
Take some serious action if you have signs of shock, like lightheadedness and you feel weak, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, restless, and confusion.
3. You may lose your energy during delivery.
4. Fetal Abnormalities
Birth defects directly related to maternal age is Down syndrome / Down's Syndrome which is caused by chromosomal abnormalities.
To detect Down's Syndrome can be done by examination of ultra sonography (USG) and blood tests (levels of Alpha Feto Protein and Human Chorionic Gonadotropin). That is why the recommended age of safe delivery is 25 to 35 years. But the couples who still want children, it can still be tolerated provided that during pregnancy the mother must be in good control and no abnormalities that endanger the mother and fetus.
Problems arising during pregnancy spots must be ensured by ultrasound. When a fetus based on ultrasound results are good then the pregnancy can continue, but if the fetus is conceived does not develop (Blighted Ovum) it must be removed with medication or curettage.
But still, there are many women who have baby in their 40s and both are okay. So, although I suggest to have baby in your 25s-35s but if you maintain a good quality of life and your health is good I think it's fine to have baby in 40s. And now the health technology is also support this. Just ask the gynecologist.
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