Is it safe to conceive baby at the age of 40?

It's not a healthy practise to plan a baby at the age of 40, but these days conceiving a baby after or at the age of 40 has become an increasingly common occurrence. All this is due to lifestyle disorders, late marriages, lack of physical activity, and career planning among other issues. Women need to understand that the egg also ages with them and therefore the chances of Chromosomal anomalies like the Down syndrome is high.

While women are often told it's best to have children before the age of 35, due to advances in technology surrounding fertility, pregnancy, and delivery, it's now even possible to safely have a baby post that. However, any pregnancy after age 40 is considered high risk. There are chances of developing diabetes, gestational diabetes or hypertension in expecting mothers. also, they can develop pre-eclampsia, condition in which expecting mothers develop high blood pressure who haven't had high blood pressure before. Preeclamptic women will have a high level of protein in their urine and often also have swelling in the feet, legs, and hands. There are chances of a miscarriage, low birth weight ectopic pregnancy as well.

Antenatal care, or care while you're pregnant, is an important way to keep yourself and your growing baby healthy. They can provide advice, answer questions, deal with any fears and help you prepare for the birth. Furthermore, expecting mothers need to take care of their BMI failing.

How they take care of their health is very important. Chances of a normal delivery will be relatively low and c- section deliveries will be high. It is always advised to increase the intake of folic acid and vitamin D supplements, quit smoking, alcohol and be stress free, along with a healthy diet.

(Inputs by Dr. Rajasri S, Senior - Consultant - Gynaecologist & Obstetrician, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Chennai)

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