These seven things here that tell you what you did not know about getting pregnant in Your 30s:

1)   Get check-ups before trying to get pregnant

Even if you had children in your 20s, it’s a good idea for both wannabe parents to get a medical check-up before trying to get pregnant in your 30s.  A pre-conception check-up can identify any medical issues that need attention before conception, such as high blood pressure, hidden diabetes, weight concerns, or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that produce no symptoms.  Menstrual irregularities can often be corrected with medication and a sperm quality assessment and physical exam can rule out any male fertility issues that might be of concern.

2)  The healthier you and the baby daddy are at conception, the healthier the pregnancy and child

A healthy pregnancy at any age depends as much on healthy lifestyle choices as it does on passing a medical exam.  Too much weight affects ovulation in ways that might hinder conception and the more extra pounds a man carries, the less semen he produces.  Either parent's bad habits, such as unhealthy diet, too little exercise, being anywhere near cigarette smoke, excess alcohol consumption, high stress, and other factors that can be remedied, need to be addressed before trying to conceive.  You will both need diets high in folic acid before conception to reduce risk for birth defects and women may want to start taking prenatal multivitamin/mineral supplements a few months before trying to make a baby.

3)  “High risk” begins at 35 but good pregnancy advice is good at any age

The age 35 is a dividing line between simple pregnancy and high-risk pregnancy but any advice or recommendations offered for women 35 and older will benefit younger women, too.  Fertility rates decline at different rates for different women but almost all women experience a drop in fertility after turning 30.  A healthy lifestyle, a close association with your gynecologist, and a little patience will benefit any woman trying to get pregnant in her 30s.

4)  The risk for certain pregnancy complications increases in the 30s

Some medical issues commonly associated with middle age often take root in the 30s although no symptoms are apparent or they are so minor they are overlooked as just a part of the natural aging process.  Excess weight, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and diabetes can affect pregnancy health and increase risk for complications such as miscarriage, placenta previa, pre-eclampsia, preterm labor and/or delivery, and multiple births. 

5)  More Down syndrome babies are born to mothers younger than 35 than older

The risk for having a baby with Down syndrome or other chromosomal defects increases as a woman ages but this type of defect is not limited to older mothers only.  There are actually more babies with Down syndrome born to women under 35 than older.  Women under 35 have more babies in general so there are more babies with chromosomal disorders in this greater population of babies.  The individual risk per pregnancy does become greater, however, after 35, but the risk for other types of birth defects decreases.

6)  It’s a good idea to review your vaccination history

Once your baby is born, it will take many months to develop its own fully functioning immune system so your immune-system health before and during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is vitally important to the baby.  Certain vaccinations administered to you before or during pregnancy will protect the baby from illness until its own immune system is strong enough for vaccination.  Illnesses such as influenza can cause avoidable pregnancy complications.  Vaccinations for infectious diseases such as whooping cough (pertussis), measles, mumps, and rubella may not have existed when the baby’s grandparents were children so, if they will spend time with your baby in the first year of its life, vaccinating them before their grandbaby is born will protect the baby from any infectious viruses they may carry.  When both parents, all siblings, grandparents, and all caregivers are fully vaccinated, your baby will have the best chance of staying well in the first year of life.

7)  Frequent sex, even on infertile days, increases the chance of pregnancy

Most people understand exposure to disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and other germs causes illness.  We know that organ transplants sometimes trigger an immune-system response that might lead to organ rejection.  The immune system attacks these "invaders" to destroy their unfamiliar DNA and make you safe again.  Most are unaware that the DNA in semen and sperm is also foreign enough to trigger an immune-system attack.  The fertilized egg, embryo, and fetus are foreign to the mother’s DNA, too.  Recent studies indicate frequent sex, even on infertile days, exposes the woman’s immune system to enough of the man’s DNA that, over the course of time, the female immune system relaxes its attention and doesn’t launch serious attacks against it.  This relaxation of immune response makes impregnation and fetal development possible.  Most couples are advised to have sex on fertile days but sex even on infertile days  or when using in vitro fertilization (IVF) helps set the stage for pregnancy.



By Sandy Hemphill, Contributing Writer, BabyMed