Pregnancy Later in Life
If you are pregnant over the age of 35, this is considered advanced maternal age. Some providers may also refer to this as a geriatric pregnancy, but it means the same thing. There is an increased risk of complications with this type of pregnancy, which we’ll talk about today as well as ways to lower these risks. However, despite higher risks, many people still go on to have healthy pregnancies and healthy, happy babies.
What are the risks of advanced maternal age?
Any pregnancy comes with some risks, but if you are of advanced maternal age, you are more likely to have:
- Gestational diabetes
- Premature birth or low birth weight
- Down syndrome or other genetic disorders
How can I lower my risks?
If you are over 35 and pregnant or planning to get pregnant, there are many things you can do to lower your risks of any pregnancy complications:
- Take time for preventative care.
- Manage existing medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and others.
- Take a prenatal vitamin containing folic acid.
- Exercise regularly.
- Quit smoking or using other tobacco products.
- Stop drinking alcohol.
- Eat a healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, lean means, and whole grains.
- Stay within a healthy weight range.
Most pregnancies with mothers over the age of 35 are successful, but it’s important to know where you stand. Talk to your provider about your concerns as well as genetic testing that can be done and other ways to keep you and baby healthy.
Benefits of Pelvic Floor Therapy
Pelvic floor therapy is a type of therapy that works to strengthen your pelvic floor. It can work to improve your core strength and help give you back control over urination, bowel movements, and sexual function.
Your pelvic floor can change over time and childbirth and stress can make this even worse. The muscles can become stretched, loose, weak, or too tight and restricted. Both of these can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic floor therapy offers a minimally invasive option to treat things like prolapse, urinary or fecal incontinence, pain during sex, and more.
A pelvic floor therapist is a physical therapist who has had additional training to work with patients on their pelvic floor. They will talk to you about your medical history, symptoms, and any specific complaints you have. Then they will do an external and internal physical exam to see what shape your muscles are in.
Pelvic floor therapy can consist of many different things including:
- Manual therapy
- Electric stimulation
- Vaginal dilators
- Weighted cones
Many women of different ages and stages in their life can benefit from pelvic floor therapy, and because pelvic floor dysfunction can get worse over time, the earlier you’re able to start, the better. If you have chronic pain for three months or more and/or consistently have problems controlling urination, bowel movements, or issues with sex, talk to us about a referral for pelvic floor therapy.
Fresh Tomato Pasta
- 4 to 6 ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/3 cup basil leaves, stems removed, chopped
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound spaghetti, or linguine or fettuccine pasta
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Place tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh basil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix gently and set aside to marinate.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a fast boil and add spaghetti; cook until al dente according to package directions, about 7 to 8 minutes.
- Drain pasta and immediately toss with the tomato mixture.
- Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.