As many as 80 women including school teachers took part in a health talk on ‘Safe late pregnancies’ organized by Max Super Speciality Hospital (MSSH) , Mohali at Hans Raj Public School, Sector 6 here today.
Speaking during occasion, Dr Seema Wadhwa, Sr Consultant, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MSSSH dispelled many myths about late pregnancies at the talk show. She said , today's women were delaying childbearing until later in life for variety of reasons including career choices, financial status, late marriage and remarriage. In addition, successful treatment of previously infertile women over 40 was on the rise. Whatever may be the reasons, but pregnancy after 40 was a happy reality today. It was not impossible to conceive after 40 and neither you nor your baby would be automatically doomed with health defects, clarified Dr Wadhwa. Dr Wadhwa said that the importance lied in getting thorough antenatal care with mandatory prenatal genetic screening. With advances in medicine, medical techniques and the increasingly common nature of the phenomenon the pregnancy after 40-yr was actually becoming usual these days. Citing awareness as being the key to a healthy pregnancy even after 40, Dr Wadhwa asserted that certain medical conditions might occur more frequently in women over 40, including diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disorders and obesity. Fortunately, these conditions could be diagnosed and controlled prior to pregnancy. Many of the medications used to treat these disorders could be safely used during pregnancy. If you were currently taking any medications and were planning a pregnancy, a change in medication or an adjustment of dosage might be necessary, she pointed out. Dr Wadhwa further informed that that it was important that as your pregnancy progressed, you maintained a normal blood pressure & blood sugar levels and have a normal weight gain. A certain level of rest and a stress-free environment was required to avoid any complications. Uncontrolled high blood pressure could restrict fetal growth and, in severe cases, could result in stillbirth. Undiagnosed diabetes could also be result in higher risk of birth defects and stillbirth, whereas poor blood sugar control during pregnancy could lead to abnormal fetal growth, she m cautioned. “Therefore, one would need to effectively deal with these complications in late pregnancies. The continuous prenatal care and judicious use of medication could lower these risks significantly. Although the risk of miscarriage and premature birth were heightened in pregnancies after 40, this shouldn’t be scared.” While cautioning against self medication, Dr Wadhwa said that one should discuss with a Gynaecologist the typical causes of various complications and what could be done to avoid them. One might be required to rest during some part of your pregnancy, or your baby might come a few weeks prematurely-so plan accordingly. A thorough evaluation prior to pregnancy would allow Gynaecologist to give an idea of one’s individual risk. However, for majority of women over 40, early prenatal care with mandatory Prenatal Genetic Screening and healthy dietary habits would result in a healthy baby and a happy mother, remarked Dr Wadhwa.