Advanced Maternal Age | Fit Pregnancy

Advanced Maternal Age

Medically Speaking

More Intense First-Trimester Medical Care
While the average mom- to-be doesn’t undergo her first ultrasound until 12 weeks, followed by a second (and often final) scan at 20 weeks, an ART patient often sees her baby’s heart beating at six weeks (four weeks after conception).


Besides being an “older” mom, Cecilia Paetsch had no risk factors for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM, or high blood sugar during pregnancy). “i thought it was really only a concern for obese women, and my weight wasn’t an issue,” says the 35-year-old attorney from Northbrook, Ill.

Your One and Only

Like most parents, my husband and I always tried to make perfect choices, from the seemingly small (the perfect diaper pail) to the potentially life-changing (deciding how many kids to have). The longer we had our one child, the more we felt she was all we needed, yet the old myths continued to worry us: Would she be lonely and spoiled? Were we being selfish by not giving her a sibling? Would the task of caring for us in our old age fall on her shoulders alone?

Does Age Really Matter?

Ask several women what they think is the ideal age for pregnancy, and you’ll get wildly different answers. Those who give birth in their early 20s benefit from seemingly boundless energy and über-resilient bodies; the 30-something new mom is grateful to have established herself in her career before taking maternity leave; the woman in her early 40s delivers with a strong sense of self and few qualms about being able to afford diapers.

Mobility and Constant Motion

Yeah, so much mobility, as I said last week. Tuck has really gotten the hang of crawling, though it isn’t a pretty, smooth action yet. But he is a madman, moving all over the place so fast we can’t even figure out how he’s doing it. We lowered the crib mattress last week because he suddenly figured out how to sit up/try to climb over the edge. This morning he’d pulled a blanket rack over to himself and gotten a blanket into his crib (that’s been moved).

Older Parenthood

I walked my 5th grader to her classroom on the first day of school this week.  As I looked around at the other parents, I recognized once again that I’m one of the older mothers in the hall.  I was 39 when I had this daughter; what my obstetrician called:  Advanced Maternal Age.  It’s not like I’m really old, but now, ten years later, as I stand outside the classroom, three things cross my mind:

1)  Dang, these parents are young and

2)  There’s no way I could show up here wearing sweats and a dirty pony tail like they can and

Pregnancy in your 20s, 30s &40s

Carol Vaghar had a typical new-mom experience when she gave birth to her first child 15 years ago at age 28. “During my pregnancy, I’d met a crowd of other first-time mothers,” says the Newton, Mass., real-estate agent. “We got together weekly after our children were born. We formed a baby-sitting circle and also got together socially with our husbands.”

The Doctor Is In

Especially for a first-timer, early pregnancy can be disorienting, and even the most thorough and caring doctor is bound to overlook some of your concerns. To help, we’ve come up with answers to some of the questions newly pregnant women ask most. Our expert is Raymond I. Poliakin, M.D., professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of What You Didn’t Think to Ask Your Obstetrician (Contemporary Books, 1994).

Preconception Weight Loss


Weight loss can decrease your risk of gestational diabetes. If you were in your 20s, I would recommend that you try to lose weight before getting pregnant again. But since you are 35, my recommendation is to not delay conception by trying to lose weight first, as fertility decreases with age. You should consider consulting a registered dietitian about beginning a preconception nutritional program, as doing so may reduce your risk. Thirty minutes of daily exercise also should be incorporated into your routine, as research shows it can greatly reduce gestational diabetes risk.

This Is What Family Looks Like Now

An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship" goes the Spanish proverb, but you can't prove it by me. The only child of a single mother who was also an only child, I grew up a continent away from anyone who could even remotely be called kin. Although I can't have children, and my husband's kids reside far from us, I could be living smack in the middle of "The Waltons," so wide and deep are the connections among the people I love and the obligations we share.