High Risk Pregnancy - Allen Park,MI

Updated on August 14, 2008
M.G. asks from Allen Park, MI
42 answers

I recently found out that I'm almost 10 weeks pregnant. When I went to the doctor he advised that normally 35 years and older are considered to be high risk. I know older women have happy healthy babies all the time & I have been reading up alot of high risk pregnancies. Just wanted to get some input from other moms out there to kinda put my mind at ease & find out of any possible complications anyone may have endured. I know I am probably making myself crazy for nothing but any input or advice would help make me not be such a worry wart...LOL

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So What Happened?

I just want to thank everyone for sharing your stories with me. I've received alot of great responses and replies and can honestly say that all my worries have been put to rest. I had a very healthy and great pregnancy my first time around and even though it was 16 years ago there is no reason why it can't be great again as long as I'm eating healthy and taking care of myself:)......On another positive note my doctor is no longer delivering babies & states that my ultrasound looked good & being that I am so healthy etc he has referred to a regular doctor and said I don't need the so called "high risk" one after all:) Thanks again to all, I think it's awesome that so many of you were willing to share your stories with me!!!!

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J.M.

answers from Detroit on

Over 35 is considered "high-risk" automatically, whether you have any risk factors or not, which is ridiculous. I had my ds at 35 and my last dd at 39 and both could have been homebirths, they were so run-of-the-mill. I wish I'd have had the $$ for a midwife with dd for sure, but ended up having a great hospital experience. Dr. Finazzo in Trenton was great, I joked all the time about my "advanced maternal age" and he joked back, usually just saying that is what they have to do, but he knew I was healthy and fine. I even had to do the stupid 2x/week non-stress tests just b/c I was OLD! It was so dumb, my bp was just fine, sugar just fine, weight less than ever, baby just fine. My friend is a nurse there, she even said it's stupid, but they have to require it. If I had more guts, I probably wouldn't have shown up, but it was nice to have 20 minutes of peace and quiet 2x a week lol! If your previous births were normal, don't worry, eat healthy, watch your bp and don't do any tests you don't WANT to!!! It is your body, it was created to give birth and you have a lot of power if you don't hand it over to the medical profession! (also, message me if you want/need to chat about being an older expectant mom)

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C.S.

answers from Detroit on

The label of "high risk" is merely the beginning of a greater maternity scare tactic to get you to agree to a litany of invasive and expensive testing - not to mention undermining your confidence in your body.
It might be time to educate yourself and learn about how your body was designed for all to go WELL with your pregnancy. You are not a pathological disaster-waiting-to-happen. Empower yourself with timeless truth and not obstetrial fiction. Switch from reading about "high risk" to "highly normal". Acquire a greater understanding of what motivates your doctor and hospital to create a fear-based approach to your pregnancy (M-O-N-E-Y). Some great books are:
"Immaculate Deception" by Suzanne Arms,
"The Thinking Woman's Guide To A Better Birth" by Henci Goer
"The Secret Life of The Unborn Child" by Dr. Thomas Verny.
Also www.birthnetwork.org offers monthly meetings to educate women beyond the obstetrical scare tactics and to plan a joyous, healthy pregnancy and delivery.
It is possible to empower yourself and create a beautiful, stress-free and well-informed pregnancy and birth.
Best of everything!

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P.R.

answers from Grand Rapids on

The best thing you can do for you and your baby is not to worry. In my opinion doctors these days are quick to put alot of people on "high risk",and for being 35,I thought they never did that until women were 40?Back in the day isnt the 30's when women would start a family, not like at age 14 today. I was pregnant with my first when I was 22 and I was put on high risk becausae the triple test came back high numbers for downs. I was all worried for nothing, everything turned out fine. Look on the bright side..at least youll get more ultra sounds that your insurance will cover because youre considered "high risk". :-)
Best of luck to you.Congrats on your wedding!!

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T.P.

answers from Detroit on

Hi, M. - I was 37 when I had my first child. They always say "over 35 is high risk" but you'll find more and more women are waiting later to have children. I know many women who are my age, or older and in their 40's! I know I was more worried about potential issues based on those types of statements myself and think I missed out on some of the joys of "just being pregnant!" I know my ob had some tests done - they can do so much now with blood tests and ultrasounds "just to make sure" everything looked good around 12 weeks of pregancy...based on those outcomes, amniocentisis was really never a consideration.I know many women who are my age, or older and in their 40's! I truly wish you a happy pregnancy and birth of your child. (And remember those prenatal vitamins - they ROCK!)

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D.K.

answers from Kalamazoo on

Hi, M.. Congratulations on your recent marriage AND your baby. Women today at 37 are more like women at 27, twenty years ago. Worrying isn't healthy for you or your unborn baby. Talk with your Doctor, have the extra ultra sounds if recommened. If an amnio is suggested it is a realatively safe procedure that can rule out many problems such as Down's Syndrome. If you and your husband would not consider a termination no matter what, then skip the amnio since their is a slight risk. It reallly depends on your individual beliefs. An Amnio would, however, ease your mind if everything is OK. I hope this has helped. Denise.

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L.R.

answers from Detroit on

This response is a little late in coming, but I wanted to help alleviate your concerns. My daughter will be two in Oct and I delivered her at 42. She was not planned and I was VERY concerned about my age. I'm also overweight. I was a fanatic about my diet and got through the pregnancy with no complications. No hypertension and no diabetes. I did have a c-section, but I think that was due to many other factors besides my age. All was well. You'll do great!

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T.B.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I was 39 when I found out I was going to be blessed, unexpectedly. I was told everytime I went in that I was a "high risk". I had decided that I wasn't going to have a bunch of test because "something" might be wrong. I'm a pretty healthy person. I made sure to get GOOD vitamins. I did have an amniocentisis done because my ultra sound showed something that could be a potential problem, and I didn't want to be surprised. I had more ultrasounds until the issue fixed itself. I'm happy to say I have a beautiful 11 month old daughter, who is healthy, happy, and into everything. Try to relax, take good care of yourself, and think good thoughts. T.

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M.D.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M.,
I normally don't feel compelled to respond but I can relate to you wholeheartedly. I too was a 36 almost 37 year old pregnant woman (first time). I had wanted for so long to be a mom and convinced myself that my child would probably have a disorder or something. I did that because of all the (over-information) I received while pregnant. My fiance and I opted not to get the amnioscentesis after meeting with a genetic counselor. We felt that the outcome had already been decided so why get a procedure that could possibly endager the fetus just to bring us relief/confirmation.

Anyway, I did a quad (blood) test and that came back as irregular which put me at an even higher risk... Then, a very insensitive nurse told me as I was leaving my regular check up that my baby has a cyst on the brain which was most often found in down syndrome babies. Turns out it's actually very common in healthy babies as well.

I tell you all this because it did weigh heavily on me and I even came to the point of gaining acceptance over what I believed would be my less than healthy, disabled baby.
I wish I hadn't wasted my time worrying about this. My child was born in 3 hours and is a perfectly, wonderfully healthy and normal almost 1 year old boy. I'm not saying this is always the case but more often than not it is. Doctors have to disclose "high risk" information but the truth is the probability is so low there's no reason to worry.
At least that's my experience... Congratulations to you M. and please don't waste time worrying.

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D.B.

answers from Kalamazoo on

Hi, Congrats on your pregnancy! I am not sure you have to be too worried in this day and age. I was told the same thing though. My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and when we finally got pregnant again, I had just turned 35. I had one OB doctor (out of an office of 4) who always told me that I was of "advanced maternal age." I hated hearing that. I went to the special ultrasound they make you go to where they look for abnormalities and then talk to you about chromosomes and possible defects due to the mother's age and they talked to me about having an amnio too. When the blood tests came back normal and the ultrasound measured normal, I said "no" to an amnio. My daughter is fine today. I then got pregnant with my son at 36 and had him at 37 (this past April). Again, they talked to me about having an amnio because of my "advanced maternal age." I let the blood work and the ultrasound speak to me first. When those came back normal, I opted once again to forgo the amnio. My son is truly healthy and happy. I guess what I'm trying to say to you is that you shouldn't be afraid just because you're in your 30's. We're not living in the 50's, 60's or even 70's and women are waiting now to have children. You're not alone and doctors aren't unfamiliar with women in their 30's having children. In fact, I'm sure you've heard that our 30's are the new 20's, meaning that women are healthier today in their 30's, look younger than they did years ago. Even 20 year olds have high risk pregnancies so it's not necessarily an age related thing. My girlfriend is 25 years old and she recently had her second daughter. She had high blood pressure and was sent out on leave about 4 months early. Me? My pregnancy was healthy and I had no problems. It's not set in stone. Take care of yourself and your pregnancy, follow your doctor's recommendations, go to all your prenatal appointments, and things should be fine for you. Good luck! And take care!

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S.H.

answers from Detroit on

The risk are higher but even still they are not that likely. I turned 37 in May and my daughter was born April 6th healthy as can be. They will suggest/recommend several test to determine the 'risks' of certain illnesses - example 1 out of 200 chance, so you could worry your whole pregnancy putting extra stress on your body and the baby and when the baby's born they are healthy as can be...worry and stress for nothing. I only had a few of the test taken(only because my husband wanted me to take the test) and the test results were better than that of a 25 year old. To me it didn't matter what the test said anyway because I wouldn't terminate the pregnancy. My Mother was over 40 and had TWO children and my sister had one child when she was over 40 as well. All were and are healthy as can be. If termination is not an option...why but the extra stress and worry of a 'possiblity' of something being wrong on your body and the baby. Stress alone can cause complications. Just be healthy and thing healthy thoughts - sometimes it's easier said then done, I know I'm a worry wart too ;)

Best wishes for your wedding this weekend ;)

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K.V.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M., In the last 4 years, I have had 2 babies, and I was over the age of 35 for both. The "high risk" is because of birth defects such as downs.

I did the blood test for one pregnancy and not for the other... I decided that it didn't matter what the test showed, I would terminate the pregnancy, so why do it, the doctor told me it was so that I could be informed if it was a downs baby, I just didn't need that much information.

I think you will find that once you decide what you would do if there was a serious birth defect, then all of the other decisions come naturally, and the worry fades away.

The test has a high percentage of false positives(it may show a problem when there isn't a problem) and the only way to know "for sure" is to (be God) do an amnio. Amnio has a 1 in 200 chances of causing a miscarriage... that's a very high risk in my book!

In my little boy, the 1st ultrasound should a cist in his brain, and I worried for 4 weeks, because I did research online(knew too much) only to find out that it went away on it's own, like 80% of them do.

God Bless,
K.

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D.F.

answers from Detroit on

I had twins at 36, not a day of bed rest, and i delivered two healtty baby boys. I do not think that 35 is old for having a baby. Relax and enjoy this time of your life.

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R.H.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi M..

Honestly, if you are in good health, have had uncomplicated pregnancies previously...I would advise you to find another doctor. I am 35 and we are thinking about whether we want another child or not. I gave birth to our only daughter 1 year ago (almost). I have actually been talking with a midwife about a home birth. She told me that until you are in your mid 40's the risks are fairly minimal if you are in good health and your previous pregnancies were without complications.

When I was pregnant I went through a Natural birthing class (bradley method which was AWESOME by the way) with another woman who was going to a traditional OBGYN and was in her late 30's. He deemed her 'high risk' even though she was in PERFECT health and this was her first pregnancy. She was poked and proded and scanned so many times during her pregnancy it was ridiculous. Every time she turned around they wanted to do yet another test. Not because there were any indications that things weren't going well...just because she was older. Baby was born completely healthy and she had a normal delivery.

Honestly, all those tests did were cause anxiety and stress for her. Like I said, there was NO indication baby was not doing well.

A traditional OBGYN is more interested in manipulating things to fit in his/her little tiny perfect box. They will encourage tests that are unnecessary, will encourage procedures during labor that are unnecessary, and will basically try to take away your power as a woman to have a natural birth ... to fit their schedule.

Don't get me wrong.... medical doctors are great... when they are needed. The problem is, they are not needed 100% of the time. I would encourage you to do ALOT of research. Maybe talk with a midwife.... they are a great alternative. They often are more sensitive to the needs of their patients and will look at all the alternatives instead of just pushing you into the high risk category and later pushing you to induce or whatever.

It just depends on what you want ... do you want a doctor who is going to scare you into doing what he wants you to do ... or someone who will work with you to have a good birth experience. I'm sure there are regular OBGYN's out there who take a more wholistic approach ... problem is, they are hard to find.

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C.M.

answers from Detroit on

I think and those Prenatal multivitamin can help you to have a healthy and the good pregnancy. Look at this product at www.marketamerica.com/moraru click on Health and Nutrition after that click on Women health and you will see the product. Are amaizing information Prenatal multivitamin. I see alot older wemen having kinds also they use a good product in vitamin. I wish you the best pregnancy and a healthy baby.(my e-mail is: [email protected]____.com)
Best Regards,
C.

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M.H.

answers from Detroit on

I had my son at 39 and my daughter at 42. I had two very normal, easy pregnancies with an emergency c-section (not age related) for my son and a natural birth (2 1/2 hour labor!) for my daughter. I'm normally in very good health and in good physical shape. My OB told me that it's not your age, by itself, that makes you higher risk--it's the fact that by the time you're over 35 you're more likely to have other health problems (obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.), which would make you higher risk at any age. I wouldn't worry about your age--enjoy your pregnancy and congratulations!

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T.J.

answers from Detroit on

M., congrats on finding out you are pregnant! I'm 36 yrs old and 23 wks pregnant and my OB/GYN has never mentioned being high risk at all. I think being considered "high risk" is a combination of age, overall health and past experiences with pregnancy. If your previous pregnancies didn't pose any problems, your current health is good, I don't see why they'd classify you this way. I was borderline diabetic, high cholesterol and suffered from anxiety...but have yet to be told I'm high risk.

Good luck, try not to worry and enjoy your pregnancy!

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N.A.

answers from Lansing on

To me that whole things is your Dr giving you something to worry about. I had children at what some would consider advanced maternal age. ( 31, 33, 37) I had the least problems with my last pregnancy.
Mostly they talk about chromosonal problems. We did not do any additional testing like that after talking with my OB and an Ultrasound. The Dr and i both agreed it would not matter one way or another with how we would be approaching the pregnancy so why put more stress on myself.
My Daughter is perfect and we had no complications.

with both of my younger pregnancies I had placenta previa, i had to be tested 3 times for gestational diabetes due to borderline results, low amniotic fluid the list goes on.
Have fun and enjoy your preganacy is my advice and i would think twice about a Dr that tries to scare you the first visit.

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R.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M.,
I had both of my children at 33 and 36. Yes my doctor told me I was considered high risk especially with my second. No big deal. I was reading some of the other responses and I definately would not change doctors. Stay with the one you are comfortable with. They are just following guidelines that say after a certain age we are considered "high risk" So what. Maybe they will give you a little extra attention. I also opted not to take any tests to check the health of my baby. For me it didn't matter as I would not terminate. I know it is easy for all of us to say relax but we are not you nor are we in your situation. But worrying will cause stress to you and your baby. So just let what will be, be. I know one thing that always helped me was talking to a friend who was recently pregnant. Asking questions like did this happen to you kind of thing. Just focus on your wedding and then enjoy your pregnancy. You have already been thru this so you know what to expect. Good luck.

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L.W.

answers from Detroit on

M.

You found you are pregnant....so it is obviously "meant to be". I just had our third baby one day after my 38th birthday. She came 6+ years later than her brother (2000) and sister(2001), but we actually tried for her because we felt like someone was missing. She was "meant to be" and has been an incredible blessing to our family. She is healthy, beautiful, and actually more advanced at every milestone than her brother and sister were...so I don't think my age impeded her development. And I actually had a horrible pregnancy with constant nausea/throwing up, so I couldn't even eat well or take prenantal vitamins (this has been every pregnancy for me which is why we waited so long to try again). She still turned out perfectly fine.

I was not told I was high risk by my doctors, but I did torture myself in the beginning by researching pregnancy at my 'age'. Often, the research leads to 'too much' information. So I will give you the jist of what all the fuss is about so you can put your mind at ease and NOT do too much research. The older we (as women) get, the higher the risk for genetic problems/birth defects with the baby. That is because our eggs are older/on the decline...not as many 'perfect' ones to choose from. HOWEVER, what helped me to put things into perspective is that really the best time to have babies (for the purpose of the most healthy abundance of eggs) is in your early 20s! The majority of women in this day/age are having their babies in their late 20s or early AND late 30s. So you are in good company. Yes, the "risk" numbers are very different when you look at the comparison of "risk" at age 20...to 30...and then to 40+. But I think you just have to give it up to God and hope/pray/trust the outcome will be fine. I personally opted to not even have any testing/screening done. I figured, there are so many false/positives that I couldn't really trust the results and would therefore have to do an amnio...and there was no way I was going to risk the premature labor thing that an amnio can cause. That was just my own personal choice (though the doctors didn't all agree with me)

As far as risk for the mother, there is a higher risk for certain complcations that comes with an older age like Gestational Diabetes, etc. But the risks are manageable. Also, I will warn you that you will definitely FEEL a big difference physically in your third trimester (or even sooner) compared to your third trimester 16 years ago. Things feel 'heavier' and 'achier' as your body is not as resilient as it used to be, but it is all a non-issue once the baby is delivered.

One last thing to keep in mind, I know a couple of different gals who have 3 or 4 kids and had Downs Syndrome babies with their first pregnancies (when they were young!). So there are no absolute rules to risk/age thing. And as an interesting sidenote, those children were/are such beautiful loving little blessings that these women continued to have more babies!

Congratulations on your pregnancy and your upcoming wedding!
Best wishes on both blessings!

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M.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M.,
I had my only child at age 42. Of course I was considered high risk etc. We were offered all the test and genetic counseling. We oppted to do none of it.
I had the pregancy of a 20 year old woman. Very uneventful and easy. Labor was a cinch, three pushes and he was out.
I know I was blessed, also I work out a lot and eat very well. Not sure if that helps. I did get pregnant again at age 45 and the baby failed to thrive and at 20 weeks I miscarried. The autopsy showed genetic markers. It was heartbreaking!
So you never know what can happen. I think yes let them say you are high risk so you can have all the test available
to you if you want them. You can always say no. But if you are high risk then insurance has to pay for test that otherwise might not be covered.
Having or not having the tests I feel are a personal issue. Do you want to abort if the baby has problems???? Do you want to know ahead of time so you can plan??? There are tons of questions but they are only for you to answer. It is a personal choice.
I know being pregnant can be crazy with worries......I think it is training for what's to come. If you think you worry now, what until the baby is born. :)
Congratulations and best wishes for the most enjoyable
pregnancy. It really is an awesome experience.
M.

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K.T.

answers from Detroit on

M. -

I had my daughter when I was 37 and my son when I was 39! Don't sweat it - you know your body better than anyone. In today's age of super information, I think we're given too much at times that just makes us worry. Also, with malpractice suits a dime a dozen, the doctor is just doing his job informing you.

Also, my mother had me when she was 40 and my brother when she was 41 - that was 47 years ago for me! What they would have told her now!??! LOL

I'm healthy, my brother is healthy, and my children are healthy. Enjoy the pregnacy.

K.

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J.H.

answers from Detroit on

M., it's actually called "advanced maternal age" and each year the chances for genetic issues go up (ie: downs syndrome etc) but there has bee quite a bit of talk to raise the age so to be honest I wouldn't worry about being 35. I got pregnant at 35 and had my healthy daughter at 36. My best friend had her kid at 38 etc. Everyone (several of my friends) I know over 35 had healthy babies so I would concentrate on eating right and taking your vitamins. Hopefully you took vitamins with folic acid prior to pregnancy because that prevents spinal bifida and several other defects. They also suggest you take a CVS or amnio which will tell you if there are genetic defects as well but put your mind at ease, 35 is not that old for having a baby.

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M.M.

answers from Detroit on

If I were you I would switch doctors - seriously :) Its very old fashioned thinking to consider over 35 high risk. I was 38 when my 11 month old was born and wasnt classified high risk. I had him at the alternative birth clinic where you cant go if you are high risk. For them to even put that in your mind is silly. Just what you dont need is more stress right now! I had a perfect pregnancy and know many other 40ish moms that have done the same! So stop worrying and start thinking of names!

and if any of the responses from other ladies are concerning you do a post to see what complications healthy 20 years olds have had with their babies - the list will be the same... its the person not the age! Every pregnancy is different. Enjoy!

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D.C.

answers from Detroit on

Stop reading about high risk and start reading about eating healthy during pregnancy. :)

Here's a great link:
http://www.westonaprice.org/children/dietformothers.html

There's an upcoming festival in Ann Arbor with a free exhibit on holistic Children's Health. For a small fee, you listen to some of the top nutrition experts:
http://www.deidrecurriefestival.com/

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T.B.

answers from Detroit on

I was considered "high-risk" for all 3 of my pregnancies - because I have discoid lupus and was over 35 for my third child so that one was a double whammy. I was told that due to AMA (advanced maternal age) my risks increased with #3. However, I had no complications whatsoever and have 3 happy and healthy children to show for it. Being over 35 just means you need to pay more attention to your body and don't push yourself as hard as you might when younger. It means more follow up with doctor to watch out for things but don't stress too much. Follow doctor's orders and take care of yourself. Good luck!

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V.G.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I was under 35 when I had both of my girls. However, my second child was a high risk pregnancy due to some complications with my Multiple Sclerosis (we had a flair up mid way through that wouldn't end). It's my understanding that depending on what is presenting the risk, it's handled differently. I have two co-workers who both had high risk pregnancy due to be over 35. One co-worker even went through it a second time to have twins. The only thing that seemed different about their pregnancy's and mine (we were all pregnant the first time together) was that they had amniocentesis and I did not. For my second daughter I had to go in for fetal stress monitoring twice a week (or was it three times). It sounds a lot scarier than it is, then again I learned it often did. All they do is put you on the fetal monitors, let you relax for an hour or so, and make sure the baby has steady heart rhythms and not a lot of regular contractions. Basically, an excuse to sit there and read, maybe take a little nap. I also had to have an amniocentesis done at 36 weeks, as they needed to induce (complications with me, not her) and wanted to make sure her lungs were developed. That whole thing was scary for me, so many complications. However, the doctor and nurse were very careful and everything turned out fine. My daughter was born the next day and is now 3 years old. I think the biggest thing with high risk pregnancy is that they watch you a little closer and look for the problems that may arise in later life births. More than likely your little one will be perfectly fine.

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L.O.

answers from Detroit on

I had my daughter at 39 and my son at 41 both children are perfectly normal and perfectly healthy.

I had high blood pressure with the first pregnancy. I was on medication from 28 weeks.. the pressures were about 150/100 but with medication it was controlled to normal. My pressures did rise the last week of pregnancy - the dr sent me home to lay on the couch and then I was induced on my due date.

My second pregnancy was perfectly normal until 39 1/2 weeks when my blood pressure started to rise and they sent me to the hospital to be induced..

Older moms are not higher risk at delivery.. Labor and deliveryis no different for younger or older women.

The higher risk is the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, preeclampsia...

I did have an amnio with both pregnancies.. It is quick but painful.. and the two to three week wait for the test results is very stressful..

good luck and enjoy those little kicks...

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A.M.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi M.

Congrats!!

I had both of my kids after I was 35 via IVF. Because of my age, they were considered "high risk". Just remember that it's only because of your age. My pregnancies were wonderful, uneventful. The GOOD THING about having a pregnancy labeled by the medical community as "high risk" is that you get to go to the OBGYN more often -and it's covered by your insurance plan - we got to see our babies more often via ultrasound than younger moms that weren't "high risk". Know what I mean?

Take good care of yourself and enjoy this wonderful time in your life!

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C.B.

answers from Detroit on

I'm 54. 18 years ago my youngest was born. And I was attempting after that to have a baby. In fact I was investing in a procedure of sex selection, to improve chances for a daughter. No go. I'd found myself accidently pregnant...okay that translates to we weren't planning it, BUT!!!! ...and that was a didn't last. Still all three of these found me in my 30s. 32, 34, and 36. If having miscarriages put me in a high risk category, okay. But no one ever said a thing about my age being a problem.
What's the basis for the allegation? think about that. By our 30s, we're typically getting comfortable and set in homelife, raising the kids, etc. But if we're healthy, and there aren't any family history problems to consider, I can't understand why a doctor in this day and age would suggest that.

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M.V.

answers from Grand Rapids on

A lot of that is blah blah blah protect my butt from being sued.
Focus on being healthy and reading/doing what's best for you and your baby. Food and exercise and time out for yourself. That sort of thing :)

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K.T.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M., I had my son at 37, was overweight to begin with, and they put me in that AMA (advanced maternal age) box too. I did do the blood test (was it called ADF?) which is supposed to show your chances of birth defects. The test results showed I had a lower chance of defects than a 20-25 year old, so I refused to do an amniocentisis (you want to put that needle where?).

Where I had the most trouble was keeping my BP down. I've been at the border for high BP (most likely due to my weight) so I just watched what I ate, walked throughout my pregnancy and made sure I didn't blimp out (I gained 20 lbs. total). Toward the end (because my boy was quite large and my BP was at a steady high) I did the fetal monitoring (they hook you up to a large stethoscope to listen to the heart beat) and ultrasounds several times a week - I took a book and got to relax during the day.
As for my delivery, my boy had a head in the 100+ percentile and I am small-boned so he had to be pulled out. He was perfect. I took a lot longer than normal to heal because there was bone inflammation and pelvic misalignment that wasn't detected for months (if in pain, keep after your doctor and demand better follow-up!).
So.....if you're relatively healthy and watch what you eat, you'll be fine. The high risk label is just that - a label. It does not take into account your health and wellbeing. They will ask if you want more tests to determine deformities and such, but it doesn't mean you are any more high risk than a 25 yr old.

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A.P.

answers from Detroit on

HI M.,
I am a medical professional and a mother of 3. Part of what your doctor told you is true - moms over 35 are considered higher risk for complications, but all cases and mothers are different. Please don't worry yourself when there really isn't anything to worry about. Follow proper prenatal care and when there is something to be concerned about - worry about it then. In the meantime take good care of yourself and the baby. By the way, my mother-in-law delivered her last baby at the age of 45 with no complications and he turned out to be the best man I ever met - my husband. And she swears having him later in life has kept her healthy and active at the age of 83. God bless.

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R.W.

answers from Jackson on

It's not the *pregnancy* that is high risk...its the risk for birth defects that is higher....and really not much higher until you are over 40yrs old.

Your pregnancy and delivery should go off without a hitch. But you may be asked to do more testing like an amniocentisis to check for down syndrome and other birth defects...keep in mind that there is a risk of miscarriage with amnio's so you may want to consider what exactly "knowing" would mean to you and your plans.

Older moms are often induced early for (imo) dubious reasons, which increases your risk of ending with a c-section by 50% And with the current c-section rate in the US sitting at 31% that's a pretty big risk to take unless there is a confirmed problem with the pregnancy (confirmed pre-eclampsia, an amniotic fluid level below 5, confirmed intrauterine growth issues to name the most common that would indicate a true need for induction) c-sections are major abdomnial surgery you'll want to avoid that unless absolutely necessary for your health or the babies (being older does put you at an increased risk of blood clots and other surgical complications)

If you're interested in doing research on anything you can access medical journal study abstracts (will give you the premise of the study the method and the conclusion) at pubmed.com

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S.G.

answers from Detroit on

When I was pregnant with my third child, the OB tried that scare tactic because I would be turning 35 before I gave birth. I chose not to do any testing because my husband and I knew we would not abort just because God might have given us a "special" child. The doctor is just making sure that you are aware of all the risks. With today's sue-happy society they have to take the "cover your a--" route.

If you are pretty healthy anyway, and you want this baby, just take really good care of yourself and do whatever you need to have a healthy baby. Don't let worry or doubt over take you, that can really affect your health.

Good Luck!

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T.A.

answers from Grand Rapids on

M.,
I had a baby at age 35 and another baby at age 38. They were my 4th and 5th babies.
My 4th baby they had a bad ultra sound and they were concerned with the babys heart beat and later were concerned about his kidneys. Both concerns turned out to be nothing.
My 5th pregnancy was a total suprise as I had already had my tubes tied! Other than that everything was normal.
I'm sure everything will be fine for you too! Good luck and Congratulations on the new arrival to your family!

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J.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

If your pretty healthy, I wouldn't worry about it, the risk of down syndrom increases a bit over 35, but in my experience doctors throw around "high risk" too often, if your too fat, too thin, too young, too old, had a preemie, are poor....
you should be fine, I know women in their 40's who have healthy uneventful pregnancies.

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P.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I just had 2 good friends of mine (one 36 & the other 41) give birth to healthy, beautiful girls this spring. It's true that as we get older the risks increase, but if you stay active & eat healthy I'm sure that all will be fine. Relax, enjoy & congratulations! P. d

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E.P.

answers from Saginaw on

M.,
After being told I would never have a child, I was pregnant at 35!! I had some spotting at first and had to take it eay for the first couple of months, but David came just fine 4 days late on Vaelntines Day! Prayer and faith-

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S.B.

answers from Detroit on

I had my 1st child last year when I was 39. I know they are required to tell you about all of the risks but in my case everything could not have gone better. I had a 7lb 7oz boy and he is great. I think the best advise I have is to keep yourself healthy and relax. Good luck!

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C.D.

answers from Detroit on

I was 23 with no risk factors when I found out I had severe pre-eclampsia - my son was delivered 8 weeks early. (He has since grown to be a strapping, totally normal teenager) There are no guarantees regardless of age, but if you watch your health and follow your doctor's advice your chances for an uncomplicated pregnancy are good. Congratulations and good luck!

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L.M.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M.,

I became pregnant at age 40 and had my daughter at age 41. I had no complications and my daughter was born vaginally. I did have amnio just too make sure she was okay, which she was thank God. Good luck to you!!

L. M.

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W.F.

answers from Jackson on

My sister had her last baby at the age of 37, and she is a very happy, healthy 3 year old girl now. I think if you take care of yourself all will work out. Stress is never good, especially when you are pregnant. Take one day at a time, and cross those test bridges when you get to them. The publisher at my work had her 1st baby at 41, and things are fine. Please think happy thoughts, and relax!

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