As more women choose to delay childbearing, advanced maternal age (AMA) has become an increasingly common phenomenon. But what does AMA mean, and how does pregnancy care differ for older patients? Here's a closer look at the benefits of pregnancy care for those over 35.
What Is Advanced Maternal Age?
Advanced maternal age refers to women who are 35 or older when they become pregnant with their first or subsequent child. Women in this age bracket face an increased risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery, including gestational diabetes, hypertension, miscarriage, and preterm labor. Because of these risks, it is important to seek out pregnancy care before, during, and after delivery.
How Is Pregnancy Care Different in Older Patients?
Pregnancy care for patients over 35 should focus on reducing the risks associated with AMA, including:
- Regular visits with a healthcare provider throughout the pregnancy
- Early screening for genetic disorders
- Nutritional counseling
- Routine lab tests
- Monitoring fetal growth via ultrasound
In addition, lifestyle factors such as rest, stress reduction techniques, exercise routines appropriate for pregnant women, and avoiding certain foods can help reduce the risk of complications in older mothers-to-be.
What Issues Can Pregnancy Care Identify?
Pregnancy care can help you identify any potential issues you may face during pregnancy and delivery, including:
- Gestational diabetes
- Low birth weight babies
- Prolonged labor
- Preterm labor and delivery
- Uterine rupture
Pregnancy care for older mothers helps you and your healthcare provider identify these issues early so you can receive the appropriate care and treatment.
What Are the Benefits of Pregnancy Care in Older Patients?
Pregnancy care for older patients provides many benefits that go beyond reducing the risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery. Specialized prenatal care helps protect both mother and baby from potential problems during gestation and childbirth and any long-term health issues that may arise after birth. In addition to providing necessary medical services like ultrasounds or amniocentesis testing to monitor fetal development, pregnancy care can also help older mothers-to-be establish healthy habits that will benefit them throughout their pregnancy and their lives, including getting enough rest, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly.
Advanced maternal age poses unique challenges when it comes to planning a pregnancy and ensuring healthy outcomes for both mother and baby. While additional risks are associated with AMA pregnancies compared to those of younger women, there are also many potential benefits associated with specialized prenatal care tailored specifically toward older patients. By taking advantage of pregnancy care, you can ensure you have a successful, healthy journey, no matter your age.
For more info about pregnancy care, contact a local doctor.