• Getting Pregnant After 35

    There are incredible advantages to getting pregnant after 35. New parents entering their late thirties are often more economically and socially stable. And you may be more prepared–emotionally and physically–for the responsibilities and joys of parenthood. There’s even some evidence to suggest that growing your family after you reach 35 can make you a better parent. So it’s no surprise that more and more women are holding off on having children until they feel ready.

    As with any pregnancy, however, there are some unique challenges that you might encounter if you become pregnant in your late thirties. Knowing the challenges you may encounter on your journey can help you prepare and give you time to focus instead on the joys of motherhood.

    How Common is it to Get Pregnant After 35?

    In 2014, the mean age of women in the U.S. who gave birth to their first child was 26.3 years old. That was up from 24.9 years in the year 2000. The statistics generally indicate that it’s more common for mothers to give birth to their first child in their twenties than in their thirties or forties. But that’s not the whole story.

    According to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of mothers who get pregnant after 35 increased from 7.4% in 2000 to 9.1% in 2014. That may not seem like a huge jump, but it does convey an unsurprising trend: giving birth over the age of 35 is becoming safer, more successful, and more common.

    Options To Improve Your Chances of Conceiving

    Getting pregnant after 35 naturally might seem like a challenge at first. An average woman over 40 has a roughly 5% chance per cycle of becoming pregnant, compared to a 25% per cycle chance for women in their 20s. At 35, your chances will usually fall somewhere between the two. For most couples, doubts about success often give way to the joys of success rather quickly.

    That said, if you are finding it difficult to successfully conceive, there are several options that can help you improve your chances. And that’s true no matter the age at which you decide to expand your family! Some of the most popular such options include:

    Getting pregnant after 35 naturally may be your preference. So whether any of these options are right for you will depend on your unique situation and goals.

    What to Think About When Getting Pregnant After 35

    For all the benefits–for both you and your children–that come with becoming pregnant after the age of 35, there are some risks that you should be aware of as well. Any risks related to pregnancy and childbirth will vary considerably from person to person, so it’s important to talk over all of your concerns with your OBGYN or Midwife. The vast majority of risks can be minimized with the right planning.

    Pregnancy After 35 Risk Factors

    Some of the more pronounced pregnancy after 35 risk factors include:

    These risks might sound alarming, but it’s important to remember that most pregnancies–in women above 35 and below–result in an uncomplicated, normal birth. Being aware of risks often helps you minimize their statistical likelihood. When you work with your OBGYN or Midwife to be proactive about your healthy pregnancy, you can spend less time worrying and more time focusing on the joys of pregnancy and motherhood.

    Common Considerations

    Any pregnancy will require some special considerations and post-35 pregnancies are no exception. Some of those special considerations may include the following:

    Is Delivery Different if You’re Over 35?

    The vast majority of births in women over 35 are uncomplicated vaginal deliveries. Child birth for women over 35 does carry slightly higher risks of complications, and as such, cesarean section deliveries are somewhat more common among this age group.

    Pregnancy: Over 35 vs Under 35

    The broad strokes of most pregnancies–whether in women over 35 or under 35–will be generally similar. You’ll likely be pregnant for 9-10 months, experience morning sickness for the first trimester, and be somewhat tired and uncomfortable during your final trimester. However, there are important differences for women over 35 in terms of how their pregnancies might proceed.

    Some of those differences include:

    There are also some non-medical ways in which delivery may be different if you’re over 35. For example:

    You may have a well-established career, and therefore have access to better healthcare benefits. For example, you may be able to take longer maternity leave when you wait until your late thirties to grow your family. Better medical insurance (and more financial power) also means you may have more healthcare options, ensuring access to the type of delivery you want.

    Many women in their late thirties have a strong support system, so you’ll have less to worry about during your delivery. This also means you’re more likely to be able to enjoy those precious first moments of bonding with your newborn.

    More Common and More Successful

    There’s no universally “right” time to have children or expand your family. For women over 35, pregnancy and motherhood can be especially exciting.

    Our OBGYNs and Midwives at both our Wilmette or Glenview offices have successfully helped many new mothers over thirty-five. You can learn more about our obstetrics services here. If you have questions or want to schedule a preconception consultation, contact us today to get started!