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Planning for a Baby at 40 - What you need to know?

Home >> Blogs >> Obstetrics and Gynaecology >> Planning for a Baby at 40 - What you need to know?

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March 3, 2017 0 28 1 minute, 58 seconds read
Uma Vaidyanathan - Max Hospital
Principal consultant
Obstetrics And Gynaecology

Studies, career considerations, marrying late are a few reasons, which can delay childbearing in women. Dr. Uma Vaidyanathan describes on how you can prepare for a pregnancy after 40.

  • Schedule a Preconception consultation with your gynaecologist: Do you know that as women age, our ovarian reserve diminishes and the likelihood of suffering from common health conditions like blood pressure, diabetes increases. However, older women are more likely these conditions, which may impair fertility. It is IMPORTANT that you get the immunisations done as suggested by your gynaecologist. Do not panic and wait for a month to conceive after you get a vaccine. There are certain medications that you may have been consuming and may not be safe in pregnancy so alternatives need to be discussed.


  • Consume a healthy diet. Tobacco, alcohol, other recreational drugs of any kind should be off-limits during pregnancy. Minimise the caffeine intake as well.


  • Experts encourage exercise during pregnancy. They recommend aerobics, resistance and flexibility exercises for pregnant women. In addition to this, walking, stationary biking, yoga, swimming and weight lifting are also considered to be safe for pregnant women. The fact is every pregnancy is different so it advisable to discuss it with your gynaecologist.


  • Women over 40 should consider the risk of chromosomal birth defects. There are a variety of tests that can be conducted to check for abnormalities like a sample of amniotic fluid or placenta tissue. These tests can increase the risk of miscarriage but now there is a new test- “Cell Free DNA (NIPT) that is capable of determining fetal abnormalities.


  • The risk of having twins or triplets increases with age especially if you use in-vitro fertilisation or fertility drugs to increase your chance of conceiving.


  • It is necessary that you go for regular antenatal follow-ups or regular consultations with your gynaecologist depending on your co-existing medical conditions. A close monitoring of the fetus throughout pregnancy is important if you are 40+ as it can prevent the likelihood of miscarriage/abortion. Experts say many women give birth to babies naturally, however, due to an increased risk of pregnancy-related complications, the likelihood of C-section increases with age.

Most of all, what is required that one needs to have PATIENCE as it can take longer to conceive if you are 40+. As age progresses, older woman’s eggs are not fertilised as compared to younger women, taking more than 6 months to conceive. 

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