Pregnancy Past 35: Risks
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Getting pregnant past the age of 35 is usually no big deal but it does come with risks. Check out this video to learn more.
Transcript: Pregnancy past 35 is usually joyous and safe for most healthy women, but there are a couple of potential...
Pregnancy past 35 is usually joyous and safe for most healthy women, but there are a couple of potential risks that you want to be aware of and prepared for. Even without in vitro fertilization, older moms have a higher chance of multiple pregnancies because of age-related hormonal changes. And twins or triplets do put a strain on the body and require you to be extra CAREFUL about prenatal care. Later-age pregnancy also increases the risk of chromosomal anomalies--such as Down Syndrome-in the fetus. Genetic testing such as amniocentesis around 15 weeks or chorionic villus sampling around 9 weeks may be suggested. Targeted ultrasound and blood testing are used to check for potential problems. If abnormalities are present, further testing and counseling can be arranged so you can make decisions about the pregnancy and birth. Miscarriage is also a 10% greater risk for women 35 and older. During your pregnancy you are at increased risk of high blood pressure or preeclampsia. And you're at double the risk for gestational diabetes. Women over 35 may want to be tested for gestational diabetes earlier than the standard third trimester 28-week check. Early detection and control can spare you and your child unnecessary risks during pregnancy and after birth. Being at a healthy weight BEFORE you conceive can also lessen the risk. Otherwise, if you are in good health, the same rules apply as with any pregnancy: eat a well-balanced diet, get regular exercise and make sure to make it to all your prenatal appointments. For more information on pregnancy after 35 see other videos in this series.More »
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Most babies born to women past 35 are perfectly healthy and normal. But sometimes, complications--like chromosomal abnormalities--can occur. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: Nearly 1 in 10 babies in the US are born to women over age 35, and MOST are born without any serious...
Nearly 1 in 10 babies in the US are born to women over age 35, and MOST are born without any serious health issues. But there are some complications - such as chromosomal abnormalities - that occur more frequently when women over 35 become pregnant. This is because eggs decline in quality and divide less efficiently as a woman ages. For example, the overall risk of a genetic disorder like Down Syndrome is relatively low-- about 1 in 1,200 at age 25--but at 35, your chance of having a child with Down Syndrome is roughly 1 in 400 and it increases from that point on. There's also a greater risk for less common chromosomal problems, such as Edward Syndrome, in a late-age pregnancy. That's why most pregnant women over 35 are offered targeted ultrasound and blood tests for chromosomal abnormalities that are markers of genetic disorders. The tests include amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling --or CVS. CVS is generally done at 9-11 weeks and amniocentesis at 15-16 weeks. Miscarriage risks are slightly higher with the CVS test. If any abnormalities ARE present, further testing and genetic counseling can be arranged to help the woman make decisions about how to MANAGE the pregnancy and birth. Remember, it's best that you stay on top of your health, attend all your prenatal appointments and go for any necessary tests that may help you have a safe pregnancy and a smooth delivery. For more information on genetic disorders and genetic testing, watch the other videos in this series.More »
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Managing preexisting diabetes is important when you're thinking about getting pregnant. Check out this video to learn important steps to take in managing your condition.
Transcript: Currently, in the US about 60% of women of childbearing age either have prediabetes, diabetes or UNDIAGNOSED...
Currently, in the US about 60% of women of childbearing age either have prediabetes, diabetes or UNDIAGNOSED diabetes-making it important for any woman thinking of getting pregnant to address the health issues that elevated glucose can cause.If your blood sugar is out of control while you are pregnant, you put the fetus at risk for birth defects or miscarriage and you are at risk for giving birth to an overweight child. This puts YOU at increased risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery and the child at a lifetime's increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Every year around 2 to 6% of all pregnancies are in women who have diabetes.The good news is that with lifestyle adjustments-that may involve losing weight before you become pregnant and increasing physical activity--AND good blood sugar control, a woman can have a healthy pregnancy, whether she has type 1 or type 2 diabetes.So, if you're overweight, inactive or over age 35, make a pre-conception appointment with your ob/gyn or primary care doctor to have your blood glucose levels screened long BEFORE you become pregnant. Then, if your blood sugar is too high you have the opportunity to get it into a normal range BEFORE you conceive. If you KNOW you have type 2 diabetes and are taking oral diabetes meds, such as metformin, your doctor may adjust your medications and make sure all they won't harm the fetus. If you can make lifestyle changes that control your blood sugar, you should do that, but you also may need to take insulin while you're pregnant to establish effective glucose control. And those with type 1 should adjust their insulin dosage as needed.For both type 1 and 2 diabetes, frequent glucose monitoring is essential to help you know how to adjust your diet, physical activity, and medication to keep glucose levels in the normal range throughout your pregnancy.For more information on how to have a healthy pregnancy, see the other videos in this series.More »
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Preexisting high blood pressure is a serious concern when you're pregnant so it's important that you learn how to manage it. Watch this video to learn more about pregnancy and preexisting high blood pressure.
Transcript: High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects around 12% of women ages 35 to 44-so every year thousands...
High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects around 12% of women ages 35 to 44-so every year thousands of women with high blood pressure become pregnant. This puts them at increased risk for even higher blood pressure and possibly a stroke-and it endangers the fetus too. If severe, hypertension can increase the risk of stillbirth, preterm birth, placental separation and other pregnancy complications. If you are taking any antihypertension medication, such as an ACE inhibitor, and you think you MIGHT be pregnant, call your doctor immediately. These medications could harm the fetus and may be risky for YOU too. They can trigger low blood pressure, kidney failure, high potassium levels, and infant death. But do not abruptly stop taking your medications without doctor's supervision. Make an appointment to be seen as soon as possible. If you have high blood pressure and you do want to become pregnant, you and your doctor should work together to adjust your medication and decrease your blood pressure using lifestyle changes. For example, you will want to lose weight if you're overweight, stop using tobacco or alcohol, increase your daily physical activity and eliminate salt from your diet. Then you'll have a better chance to enjoy a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Preexisting high blood pressure is different than preeclampsia or elevated blood pressure that STARTS during pregnancy. When it is severe, it may be necessary to induce delivery prior to full term and to use medications to protect mother and child. For more information on how to have a healthy pregnancy, see the other videos in this series.More »
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Later in life pregnancies are not so bad--in fact, you and your baby can even benefit from it. Watch this video to learn more about the pros of pregnancy past 35.
Transcript: Physically, your body is at its childbearing prime in your 20's and early 30's but those may not be...
Physically, your body is at its childbearing prime in your 20's and early 30's but those may not be the years you're READY to have a child. And while getting pregnant later in life MAY have some known risks, for most healthy women it is a safe and problem-free event...and the PROS of a 40-plus pregnancy CAN outweigh the cons. Later-in-life pregnancies are often the result of a conscious decision to have a child, AND you may have the emotional maturity and psychological readiness for parenting that may be missing when you're younger, or if you become pregnant unexpectedly. In addition, you're likely to have a more settled home life, family structure and finances. And the Centenarian Study found that women who lived to at least age 100 were four times more likely to have had children while in their forties than women who survived only to age 73. I guess that means that kids really DO keep you younger! Clearly, pregnancy after 40 can have its benefits for mother AND child. Studies show that women who give birth past age 40 tend to breastfeed more often and for longer. That's good for both mom and baby. For YOU, breastfeeding can reduce your postpartum depression risk. And the act of breastfeeding--which includes skin-to-skin and eye contact--helps your baby bond more closely with you. BREASTFEEDING also helps burn additional calories and BREASTFEEDING moms return to their pre-pregnancy weights faster than moms who do not breastfeed. Not only does breast milk have nutrients that boost your baby's growth, but its antibodies also strengthen your baby's immune system and help fight off infections. And the benefits to your child play out throughout life. Some studies show children born to older moms have LOWER incidence of SUDDEN infant death syndrome (SIDS) and greater self-sufficiency at age 27 to 33.More »
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Nearly 7 million women are affected by eating disorders each year and most of them are of childbearing age. Watch this video to learn all about pregnancy, anorexia and bulimia.
Transcript: Nearly 7 million women, most of childbearing age, are affected by eating disorders each year. And although...
Nearly 7 million women, most of childbearing age, are affected by eating disorders each year. And although anorexia and bulimia, which can disrupt hormones and severely reduce body fat, may make it difficult to conceive, it's STILL possible to become pregnant while struggling with these conditions. On average, during pregnancy an underweight woman should put on 28 to 40 pounds and eat around 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day-more if she is PARTICIPATES in excessive or vigorous exercise, a common secondary problem of eating disorders. But for women with eating disorders, healthy weight gain is an extra challenge. Discomfort with the normal bodily changes that happen during pregnancy can trigger increased anxiety about their appearance. Often, calorie intake becomes too low to provide mom or fetus with the nutrition they need. That puts the mother at greater risk for cardiovascular problems AND the fetus in danger of premature delivery, low birth weight and delayed growth. But inadequate nutrition isn't the only concern. Many women with eating disorders use laxatives and diuretics to aid in weight loss. These can stimulate uterine contractions, cause dehydration and interfere with nutrient absorption-endangering mother and fetus. If you have an eating disorder and want to become pregnant, you need an intense, ongoing relationship with a nutritionist, therapist, obstetrician and your friends and family. Their support and guidance can help you put your eating disorder behind you BEFORE you conceive or teach you how to love your body and transfer your focus away your body to doing what is best for your baby.More »
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Obesity poses health risks for both mom and baby during pregnancy. Watch this video to learn how to manage excess weight during pregnancy.
Transcript: Pregnancy is never a time to diet and a healthy amount of weight gain is important. But nearly half...
Pregnancy is never a time to diet and a healthy amount of weight gain is important. But nearly half of all pregnant women are already overweight or obese when they conceive. And that puts them at greater risk for complications like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and even still birth. So how should they handle the extra pounds that pregnancy adds? If possible, it's always best to shed extra weight and achieve a healthy Body Mass Index BEFORE conceiving.But, what if you become pregnant WHILE you're overweight or obese? The first and most important step is to limit your weight gain. Overweight women with a BMI of 25 to 29 should only put on 15-25 pounds while they are pregnant. Those who are obese with a BMI of 30 or higher should gain no more than 11 to 20 pounds. There is some thought that if you conceive with a BMI over 35 or morbid obesity category it is not necessary to try to gain weight but simply maintain your weight. You'll be able to meet these goals if you monitor your FOOD intake and maintain a balanced and nutritious diet, with adequate physical exercise.Aim to consume around 2,000 calories per day. Slashing calories and essential nutrients from your diet can be harmful to your baby's development. I like my patients to try for five vegetable and three fruits a day. But calorie intake shouldn't be your MAIN concern. Choosing nutritious foods is what's important to keep you feeling full and your baby healthy. So, add whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, lean meats AND FISH and calcium-rich low-fat dairy to your meals. Try to avoid processed foods as much as possible. If you have trouble managing your meals, work with a NUTRITIONIST who can help you develop a better eating plan for you. You can add exercise to your daily routine, too. Walking, swimming and low-impact aerobics are the safest choices, especially if you're new to exercise. Avoid exercises that are flat on your back or anything that is particularly rigorous.And remember, having a healthy pregnancy is important regardless of weight. So, be sure to put your health FIRST--for yourself AND your baby.More »
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If you're pregnant and have a chronic illness, it's important to get your condition under control with the help of your doctor. Watch this video to learn all about managing chronic illnesses during pregnancy.
Transcript: If you have any chronic illness--whether it's epilepsy, depression, diabetes, or asthma --and are thinking...
If you have any chronic illness--whether it's epilepsy, depression, diabetes, or asthma --and are thinking of becoming pregnant, it's essential you take steps to properly control your condition BEFORE conceiving. Make a preconception appointment with your primary care doctor or ob/gyn to discuss what you can do to assure thehealthiest pregnancy -and healthiest baby-possible. Making adjustments to the medications you take and the WAY you manage your condition beforehand can minimize risks to you and to the fetus. Some medications are safe in pregnancy and others are not. If you are pregnant unexpectedly and need to take medication, DO NOT change your treatment regimen without discussing it with your doctor FIRST. For example, if you're being treated for depression prior to conceiving, your doctor may want to change youto a different class of medications that may be safer. This may not eliminate risks to the fetus 100%, but they can be lowered. But stopping an antidepressant suddenly can trigger deeper depression. If you are taking oral diabetes medications, it appears that metformin poses no immediate risks to the fetus, BUT there may be long-term side effects as a child develops. Switching to insulin is the gold standard for managing diabetes during pregnancy since it is safe for mother and child. But every condition poses unique challenges to conception and childbirth. For instance, if you have epilepsy, research shows that some anticonvulsants increase your baby's risk of developing serious abnormalities and cognitive problems. So, in SOME cases, pregnant women may need to stop taking these drugs altogether. However, having seizures while pregnant is also risky-so you must have serious discussions about whether carrying a baby is the best choice for YOU-and if it is, what risks you are willing to take. Whatever you decide, it's VITAL to work CLOSELY with healthcare professionals who can provide adequate advice and guidance about navigating pregnancy while also managing your condition.More »
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Smoking during pregnancy will harm your fetus's health. Watch this video for details on cigarettes and pregnancy.
Transcript: Up to 13 percent of women still smoke during their pregnancies. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals,...
Up to 13 percent of women still smoke during their pregnancies. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, all of which enter the blood stream and head straight for your baby. Two of these in particularcarbon monoxide and nicotinenarrow the blood vessels in the umbilical cord. Since this is the babys source of oxygen, when this happens it becomes much harder for him to breathe. Oxygen deprivation in the womb can lead to stillbirth, premature delivery, low birth weight, learning disorders and a lower IQ. If youre a non-smoker, but your partner lights up, your baby is still subjected to serious risks. In fact, the CDC says that women exposed to secondhand smoke have a 20 percent greater chance of delivering underweight babies than women who arent exposed. Even women who spend a great deal of time around wood fires may experience similar negative effects due to inhalation of carbon monoxide. This risk, however, is smaller than the risk of smoking, and not something to be worried about if it occurs in moderation. If youre pregnant and cant stop smoking, talk to your doctor about quitting. If you can do so by week 14, youre about as likely as anyone to have a healthy baby!More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-11 | Tags »
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A healthy pregnancy is accompanied by a healthy diet which is essential for your health as well as your baby's. Watch this video to learn about food for a healthy pregnancy.
Transcript: Now that you're pregnant you can eat whatever you want, right? Well-not quite! Keep watching for tips...
Now that you're pregnant you can eat whatever you want, right? Well-not quite! Keep watching for tips on keeping mom and baby healthy during pregnancy. Good nutrition is vital during pregnancy. Your baby needs plenty of vitamins and minerals to develop properly and you need them to stay strong - as you probably know by now, pregnancy is exhausting. Ensure your baby gets the food it needs! Most pregnant women need to eat only 300 extra calories a day. That's a healthy weight gain of about five pounds during the first trimester. While you're pregnant, try to eat three daily servings of protein to support the baby's rapid growth. Consider lean meats, eggs and legumes. Calcium also helps babies build bones. If you're not fond of milk, consider kale or edamame. Bold, colorful fruits and veggies contain the most nutrients to help your baby grow. Apples and iceburg lettuce are good for you, but mangos and romaine lettuce are even better. Of course, you'll need certain extras, too! Your pregnant body can't store essential Vitamin C. Get a fresh supply every day with strawberries, melon, tomatoes, and, of course, orange juice. Mineral-rich whole grain breads, cereals and pastas provide vital nutrients and can also combat pregnancy-induced nausea. To prevent anemia while pregnant, you'll need more iron. Spinach, soy products, dried fruit and blackstrap molasses are all great choices. To stay hydrated and healthy, aim for at least eight, eight-ounce cups of fluid daily. Water is best but milk, sugar-free juice and other liquids count, too! Fill in any gaps in your diet with a multivitamin formulated especially for pregnant women. While pregnant, you must remember that not every food is healthy for you and your baby. Alcohol is a no-no. Even moderate drinking can induce complications. Caffeine is OK in small doses, but stay below 300 milligram, or three cups, daily. That's because caffeine can counteract the benefits of calcium, and may increase the chances of miscarriage. Minimal unsaturated fats and salts are fine, but limit total fats to less than 30 percent of your daily calories. Also, avoid empty calories, like those found in processed and junk foods. You may love sushi, but pregnancy isn't the time to eat anything raw or undercooked. Cook meats until well done and fish until it flakes. Make sure that egg yolks are cooked through, and that all dairy products are pasteurized. Steer clear of herbal supplements and teas. They're natural, sure, but ginkgo biloba and St. John's Wort can have negative effects on a pregnant body. Of course, if you're pregnant, discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor. Many other natural therapies, like massage, meditation and acupuncture can relieve stress and ease the physical aches of pregnancy. Just be sure to tell any practioner that you are pregnant before beginning a session! The bottom line is that natural is better when you're pregnant. Always consult your doctor before trying a new diet or therapy.More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-15 | Tags »
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What is a 4D Sonogram? This can be simply described as a 3-dimensional picture created of your baby inside you during pregnancy. Find out more in this video.
Transcript: You may already be familiar with the sonogram pictures your doctor takes of your baby. Now, modern technology...
You may already be familiar with the sonogram pictures your doctor takes of your baby. Now, modern technology is taking the sonogram to a whole new dimension. A normal sonogram uses a probe to transmit sound waves into your belly. The probe then "listens" for an echoing sound, which it uses to create a three dimensional picture of your fetus. Recently, doctors have discovered an even more advanced viewing technology: The four dimensional sonogram. A 4D sonogram works in the same way as a 3D one, but adds a fourth-dimension-time-to the picture. The result is a live-action "video" of your baby in real time. With a 4D sonogram, you can watch your baby wriggle, smile, suck his thumb, and more. Doctors like 4D technology, too, because the movement patterns can help a doctor quickly discern how a baby is developing. The 4D sonogram is also a valuable diagnostic tool because it can identify problems with a fetus sooner than would otherwise be possible. After a 4D sonogram, your doctor can use a process called volume rendering to take moving images and compile them into still-frame photos. Because 4D sonograms are still relatively new, they are not available in all hospitals - nor are they necessary for most pregnancies. If you're interested in learning more about this viewing technology, talk to your doctor.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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First trimester sonogram can help a doctor determine the size of your baby and its growth. Find out what kinds of sonography procedures are used in this video.
Transcript: Quick - how is having a baby like submarine warfare? If you said that submarines and doctors both use...
Quick - how is having a baby like submarine warfare? If you said that submarines and doctors both use sonar technology, you move to the head of the class! An ultrasound is a procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to scan your uterus.Those waves are then translated into an image of your developing baby. This technology is very similar sonar, which is used to locate and map things which are underwater, like submarines or sharks. In the first trimester, your doctor may perform a traditional abdominal ultrasound... But more commonly, she'll place sound probes in your vagina for a transvaginal sonogram, which can provide a clearer picture early in pregnancy. During about the sixth week of your pregnancy, either type of ultrasound can confirm that you are indeed pregnant. Your doctor will be able to measure the baby's size at this point, and can therefore estimate its gestational age. If your baby's gestational age is a full 6 weeks, it might be possible to detect your baby's heart rate. This sonogram will also be able to check for an ectopic pregnancy, whereby a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. During your eighth week, another sonogram is performed. By this time, you should see able to see the heart beating strongly. At any point during the first trimester, a sonogram may also be ordered to check for a suspected miscarriage. And while all of this can be scary, know that most babies are fine and there is no reason to believe that yours won't be, too!More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-11 | Tags »
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