What are the risks? Pregnancy in your 20s, 30s, 40s

Preparing to become a mum should involve being aware of the potential risks of pregnancy at every stage of your life. Read about it here...

No matter what season of life you’re in, pregnancy is always an exciting time, but there are certain risks of pregnancy that are unique to each stage of a woman’s life.

While we previously wrote about how experts determined the ideal age of becoming a mum as 34, this is no assurance that getting pregnant in your 30s is a walk in the park. Let’s take a closer look at what expectant mums need to prepare for if they’re in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.

Pregnancy in your 20s

Also known as your “most fertile years,” during your 20s you have a 20 percent chance of conceiving each month if you’re not on any form of birth control, according to research.

The risk of hypertension and gestational diabetes is low. Doctors recommend exercise and a healthy diet for an easier delivery and in order to recover quickly postpartum. As for long term health benefits, studies have found that women who started giving birth in their 20s are less prone to developing breast or ovarian cancer later on in life.

Though having a baby in your 20s poses less of a risk that you’ll have a child born with a birth or genetic defect, it’s important to note that more kids with genetic disorders are born to women in their 20s. This is because fewer screening tests are done on younger women as opposed to those over 35.
Women in their 20s only have a 9.5 percent chance of miscarriage, the lowest compared to any age group.

risks of pregnancy

Pregnancy in your 30s

After age 35, fertility continues to gradually decline, making it more difficult to conceive.

According to Women’s Health, the risk of miscarriage as well as the incidence of birth defects are higher. Conditions like hypertension and gestational diabetes also tend to occur more often. But there’s no need to be disheartened. Instead, take it as a motivation to be more vigilant in monitoring your health with the help of your gynaecologist.

It’s interesting to note that the chances of you conceiving twins and triplets increases in your 30s, according to the CDC. Multiple pregnancies also carry with it an increased chance of having low-birth weight or premature babies.

Prolonged and difficult labour is more likely when you are in your 30s. Often, thirty-something mums end up having C-sections due to bleeding or other issues. Labor and delivery complications, such as placenta previa, are more common in mums over 30s. The good news? A recent study found that women who give birth over 33 tend to live longer.

risks of pregnancy

Photo: dreamstime

Pregnancy in your 40s

It no longer needs to be said that delivering in your 40s poses the most risks, but let’s still take a closer look. It’s been found that around 1/3 of pregnant women aged 40 to 44 end up having miscarriages. Low-lying placenta and low-birth weight babies are also more common in forty-something mums.

For women over 45, American researchers found that more than half end in miscarriage. Babies  born to mums in their 40s face a 1 in 66 chance of being born with a chromosomal defect, such as Down Syndrome. In order to combat this, you must consistently consult with your doctor throughout your pregnancy and undergo comprehensive tests and screening to ensure a healthy and safe delivery.

There’s still good news, though. According to a recent study shows, women over 40 who deliver without assistive drugs tend to live longer, which researchers suspect may be due to the wealth of oestrogen produced by the body. Oestrogen strengthens the heart, bones, and other organs.

*Republished with permission from theAsianparent Philippines

Also READ: Is giving birth in your 40s the new normal in Singapore?

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