Common Late Pregnancy Fears

Late pregnancy fears and a few guidelines to help you deal with them.
Common Late Pregnancy Fears

Late pregnancies are no longer uncommon. An increasing number of women are waiting until beyond their 30s to get pregnant. About 1 in 5 women have their first baby after 35 years and most of them experience successful, healthy pregnancies. In spite of this, some concerns and fears do exist. Here are some common late pregnancy fears and a few guidelines to help you deal with them.

Common Late Pregnancy Fears

Pregnancy fears such as the risk of miscarriage, preterm labor and problems in delivery occur commonly in older mothers. These risks prevail in all pregnancies, but are slightly elevated in pregnant women above the age of 35 years.

Miscarriage

Fear of miscarriage is perhaps the most common concern in older women. It is true that the risk of miscarriage increases with age. Women between the ages of 35 and 39 have almost a 20 percent chance of experiencing a miscarriage. But regular checkups and a healthy lifestyle help to minimize this risk.

Preterm Labor

Another risk associated with late pregnancy is preterm labor which leads to a premature baby. This can sometimes be serious for the baby and the mother. Babies born prematurely may also experience growth and developmental problems later on in life. Currently there is no screening test that can detect which pregnancies will develop these complications. The best precaution is to undergo regular prenatal tests. This will help in early detection of problems.

Problems during delivery

The possibility of having a caesarean section is also among the common delivery fears in older mothers-to-be. Women above 40 years are twice as likely to have a c-section as compared to women below 30 years. Stillbirth may also be a possible complication in some late pregnancies.

Here are some ways to reduce your risks of late pregnancy complications;

  • Go in for a preconception checkup.
  • Make sure that you receive regular prenatal care.
  • Take a folic acid multivitamin before and during early pregnancy. This will help to prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
  • Ensure that you are at a healthy body weight at the time of getting pregnant.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and do not smoke.
  • Avoid taking any over-the-counter medications or herbal supplements before consulting your doctor.
  • Follow a healthy diet and consume foods rich in folic acid and folate such as beans, green leafy vegetables and fortified breakfast cereals.
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