6 Common Complications of Getting Pregnant in Your 30s and Precautions to Take

6 Common Complications of Getting Pregnant in Your 30s and Precautions to Take

The 30s are usually a great time – you’re more likely to be well-settled, with your family and financial matters in order, and with a clearer plan for what’s ahead in your life. It may also seem like the right time to either have your first baby or add a new member to your happy family.

But having a baby in your 30s can understandably also present certain complications, ranging from minor to major. While there isn’t too much reason for you to panic, it always helps to be prepared so that you can stay ahead of whatever can come your way.

Common Pregnancy Complications You May Face in Your 30s

Getting pregnant in your 30s is not an impossible feat, although you may face a little more difficulty than your peers in their 20s. Similarly, becoming pregnant in your 30s does make you prone to certain complications, such as the following:

1. Premature Labour or Delivery

Pre-term labour is when labour begins before 37 weeks of gestation. This is obviously a serious complication, because giving birth to your baby too early can result in health complications and developmental delays. However, if identified right in the beginning, premature labour is something that can be thwarted. Look out for signs such as cramps (more than five or so in an hour), watery fluid discharge or bright red blood from your vagina, or a dull backache; even if your due date isn’t close.

Preterm labour or delivery

Precautions to Take

The very first thing you need to do is to take care of your diet; in terms of quantity and quality. Eat healthy food, stocking up on polyunsaturated fats, Vitamin D, and DHA in your diet. Make sure you don’t skip any of your prenatal care appointments and quit any unhealthy habits you may have, drinking and smoking being at the top of the list. If you have a history of premature labour and birth, your doctor may even recommend preventive medication.

2. Gestational Diabetes

Women who become pregnant in their 30s have higher chances of developing gestational diabetes; in fact, it can occur in almost 3 to 5% of all pregnancies. This means that they could have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, even though they were normal before. Now, the symptoms aren’t going to be very noticeable for this condition and it’s usually discovered during routine screening tests. But if you notice that you feel exceptionally thirsty or hungry, or find yourself making one too many trips to the bathroom, it’s best to get yourself screened. In case this condition goes unchecked, it may result in excessive birth weight of the baby, preterm birth, or put the child at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. If you have gestational diabetes, it can also put you at risk of high blood pressure or preeclampsia, or developing diabetes in the future.

Gestational diabetes

Precautions to Take

To lower your risk of developing gestational diabetes, it’s important to prepare your body for pregnancy. For one, consider losing weight (if needed) as being overweight can increase your risk of developing this condition. However, make sure you have your doctor’s approval or supervision for the same. Apart from that, eat small healthy meals frequently throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

The various tests and medical expenses for treating gestational diabetes can put a strain on your wallet. You can consider tackling these expenses, from hospitalisation, diagnostic tests, medication and more, with the Pregnancy Complications Cover from Bajaj Finserv. With a coverage of up to Rs. 50,000 at just Rs. 499, and an easy application process, this would be an ideal financial precaution to take for a possible complication during your pregnancy.

3. Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a potentially dangerous complication of pregnancy, usually characterised by high blood pressure and possible damage to other organ systems. Other signs include swelling of the hands and feet, water retention (decreased urine output), nausea and headaches, changes in vision, and shortness of breath as well. Being obese, carrying multiples or going through your first pregnancy can also put you at risk for this condition. There are severe complications both you and your baby could be prone to if you have preeclampsia, including placental abruption, organ damage, HELLP syndrome, foetal growth restriction and so on.


Precautions to Take

While complete prevention isn’t possible, there are certain things you can do to lower your risk of developing this condition. For one, keeping your weight under control can go a long way. Keep a track of your weight gain and blood pressure throughout your pregnancy and follow your doctor’s recommendation to keep them under control. Stay well-hydrated and also keep your feet elevated several times during the day.

4. Low Birth Weight Baby

The term ‘low birth weight baby’ is used for babies born weighing less than 2500 grams, often a common situation in the case of premature births. Other causes for your baby to be born with low birth weight can also be complications you face during pregnancy, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), birth defects, or problems with the mother’s placenta.

Low birth weight baby

Precautions to Take

There are a few things you can do with regards to your lifestyle and health to avoid (as much as possible) the possibilities of a low birth weight baby. For one, cut out any harmful habit you have (the earlier the better) that can cause you and your unborn baby trouble. Pay close attention to your diet and exercise as well. Also, attending every scheduled prenatal visit helps your doctor keep a proper track of how your pregnancy is progressing as well.

5. Caesarean Delivery

It’s a well-known fact that the older the mother-to-be, the more her chances of delivering her baby through a C-section increase. In fact, the chances of you having to undergo a C-section is almost 20% higher in your 30s, than in your 20s. Issues like increased foetal distress or prolonged second-stage labour can be causes to deliver via C-section.

Caesarean delivery

Precautions to Take

It’s not always possible to avoid a C-section delivery, but you can try these tips to reduce the possibility. For starters, you can attend prenatal classes which will keep you healthy and active, reducing your risk of developing complications later on. And as with anything else, your diet and exercise levels will also play a major role in your pregnancy. When you’re in labour, it’s best to wait as much as possible before getting an epidural or being induced even, as these are linked to higher C-section rates.

6. Ectopic Pregnancy

This is mainly applicable to women who are in the ages of 35 to 44, whereby the fertilised egg attaches itself in a place other than the uterus. By doing so, the egg cannot develop properly, and therefore, must be treated. Apart from the age factor, other causes for ectopic pregnancy include having had an ectopic pregnancy previously, or abdominal/pelvic surgery, induced abortions, endometriosis, or using fertility medications. If you experience dizziness or weakness, a sharp stabbing pain that comes and goes (especially on one side of the body), or heavy or light vaginal bleeding, you might want to get yourself checked to rule out any problems.

Ectopic pregnancy

Precautions to Take

The problem with an ectopic pregnancy is that the chances of having a successful delivery are extremely rare; treatment usually involves terminating the pregnancy itself. Hence, while there’s no way to reduce the risk of an ectopic pregnancy, it’s important to get medical help as soon as you see symptoms. These include pelvic pain, bleeding through the vagina, shoulder pain; and in some severe cases, heavy bleeding, lightheadedness, abdominal pain, and even shock. While the loss of a pregnancy can be shattering, please remember that your health and well-being is also at stake in case of an ectopic pregnancy.

You can take care of the related medical expenses with the Pregnancy Complications Cover introduced by Bajaj Finserv under its Pocket Insurance & Subscriptions category. The plan offers coverage for pre-hospitalisation, hospitalisation, medication, and the doctor’s fee, simply on confirmation of the diagnosis through an ultrasound scan.

Getting pregnant in your 30s can be a great thing, and is, most often, a smooth-sailing process. However, there are chances that you may run into certain complications, such as the above. Take the necessary precautions, follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and try and stay stress-free as much as possible to ensure a smooth journey to motherhood.

Also Read:

Pregnancy Complications during First Trimester
Pregnancy Complications during Second Trimester
Pregnancy Complications during Third Trimester

Previous article «
Next article »