Here’s everything you need to know about becoming a mother in your late 30s

A late pregnancy in your 30s comes with its own sets of pros and cons. Today, we are decoding them for you so that you can make an informed decision.
late pregnancy
A late pregnancy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Aruna Kalra Updated: 30 Oct 2023, 15:33 pm IST
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Getting pregnant is truly a blessing for every woman. Women go into motherhood at varied phases in their respective lives. It is many times suggested to women to get pregnant before 35—but more and more of them are now opting for a late pregnancy due to their careers or because they are simply not ready.

If you are also planning to conceive in your late 30s, then there will be some challenges that you may have to face. Not to worry, there are perks attached to it too! Listed below are some pros and cons of embracing motherhood in the late 30s.

Talking about the good things first about getting pregnant after 35
  1. Older mothers bring a number of benefits: Women who are in their late 30s are more prepared and mature than those in their 20s. Having their careers set, the ones who are working are financially stable and have the ability to provide good lives to their babies. Women who earlier faced challenges like infertility and had to struggle to conceive are known to be more careful and happier during their pregnancy period.
  2. Reduced risk of breast cancer: Women who opt for late pregnancy may have reduced risks of breast cancer. The major reason behind this is breastfeeding the babies.
  3. Less stressful: Women who conceive in their late 30s experience reduced parenting stress than the ones who become mothers in their 20s. Older mothers are as effective as young moms and they do not have low parenting capacity due to physical or mental ability.
  4. Embryo or egg freezing: If a woman is planning to delay her pregnancy, she has the option of freezing her embryo or eggs as autoimmunity can affect the ovarian reserve. A woman may also suffer from a disease like hyperthyroidism or cancer, so in such a case, embryo or egg freezing is an excellent option.
late pregnancy
Pregnant women need to be more careful. Here’s why. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
The cons of having a baby in your late 30s
  1. Reduced fertility: Fertility in many women above 35 years of age start to drop because of hormonal fluctuation in their body related to age. Some of them even experience premature menopause because of which their pregnancy plans are smashed, leaving them more stressed.
  2. High risk: Women who plan to get pregnant later in life have high risks of miscarriage. Risks related to down syndrome also increase by this age.
  3. The myth of the IVF miracle: IVF is not too effective in women above 35 years of age. It does not significantly increase fertility in older women. There are lesser success rates in older women as compared to younger women.
  4. Less support: Women who, for their own will, choose to get pregnant in their late 30s may have less family support during their pregnancy and motherhood phase. They may also have to take care of elderly parents along with their little children.
late pregnancy
It can be a bit challenging for you. Image courtesy:
Planning a baby in your late 30s? Here are a few tips to remember

Here are some tips a woman must follow if she is planning to get pregnant in her late 30s:

  1. She should undergo some health check-ups for
  1. The previous history of any surgery or disease which can affect her present health should be discussed with the gynaecologist.
  1. She should maintain a routine for exercises. This will help her body to be healthy, fit and active.
  1. She should immediately switch to a healthy diet containing all necessary nutrients.
  1. Counselling regarding age-associated risk of chromosomal abnormalities and the knowledge of tests in each trimester to rule out these genetic diseases in developing foetus is recommended.
  1. Breast examination has to be done in order to rule out any lump or abnormality.
  1. It is better to have a genetic counselling session for you and your husband.
late pregnancy
Take care of yourself if you’re planning a baby in your late 30s. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

If a woman chooses to postpone her pregnancy, it is very important to remember that the pregnancy can be a high-risk pregnancy if she is more than 35 years of age and is conceiving for the first time in her life. The chances of developing hypertension or diabetes during pregnancy are also higher in woman above 35 years of age. When a couple plans to postpone their pregnancy, they should always keep in mind that while it is possible to conceive in the later phase of their life but the reproductive potential, as well as the general health of both the man and the woman, tends to deteriorate with age, which can cause several health issues during pregnancy. So, to avoid such issues in future, the couple should undergo some necessary tests before planning pregnancy. Both of them should be fit and active to bear the child as well as to nurture it after birth.

The pros and cons of late pregnancy are like the two sides of a coin. A couple should consider all the plus and the minus points before planning to conceive a child. They should get their health check-ups done before conceiving and seek advice from their doctor. If one is opting for postponing pregnancy then they should follow a healthy lifestyle from the beginning so that they don’t have to face any difficulty later. Fertility preservation (eggs or embryo) should be strongly taken into consideration while planning a late pregnancy.

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About the Author

Dr Aruna Kalra is a renowned obstetrician, gynaecologist, and laparoscopic surgeon at CK Birla Hospital. She has an experience of more than 23 years. She is an expert in scarless laparoscopic surgeries. Her areas of interest include minimally invasive gynaecological surgeries, gynae oncological surgeries, high-risk pregnancies, and vaginal birth after cesarean. ...Read More

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