Vim & Vigor - Summer 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - 27

How Old
Is Too Old?

Strength and Stamina

"There are definitely cases where younger moms have more energy," Garbus
says. But lots of factors can contribute to energy levels during pregnancy,
including morning sickness and the demands of work or other children.
McDonough says she had a lot of energy with her first pregnancy, in her
20s. "I was so excited, and I wasn't nauseous," she says.
But while carrying her second and third babies, she had the demands of
one young child, and then two, to contend with, and she was exhausted. Her
fourth pregnancy came so many years after the third that she could rest if she
needed to. "The kids were older, and they could fend for themselves," she says.

Life Experience

Most would agree that having a baby as a teenager isn't ideal, and the teen
birth rate has been declining for years. But for very young women who do
become pregnant, they face different risks than older moms-to-be. The
brain's prefrontal cortex isn't fully developed until the early 20s, and that
can affect reasoning in various ways.
"Younger moms can be less likely to keep their appointments," Garbus
says. They are also more likely to have multiple partners and less likely to
have the support of a long-standing relationship. ■

Women in their 50s, 60s and even 70s have
given birth, but the odds of successfully
conceiving and carrying a baby to term
decline steeply as women age. And older
women are more likely to face health risks
during pregnancy. Still, not everyone can
plan their family when they are at their peak
physical health and fertility.
According to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, the average age
of American women having their first child
reached a record high of 26 years old in
2013, as more women are waiting until
their 30s and 40s to start having kids.
What's driving the shift? It's a general
trend that as more women get educations
and enter the workforce, they marry and
start having kids later in life.
For older women who want to try to
conceive, it's critical to have any existing medical issues diagnosed and wellcontrolled. That will help increase the
odds of a healthy pregnancy for both the
mother and the baby.
"Underlying medical conditions are a
concern for women who are older," says
Tanya Taival, DO, of Parrish Medical Group.
Older women have higher rates of diabetes,
hypertension, obesity, vascular diseases,
lupus, kidney problems and other medical
conditions that can complicate pregnancies.
"However, age is only a number," Dr.
Taival adds. "As long as a woman is healthy,
active and motivated, age alone shouldn't
prevent her from becoming pregnant."

APP

Your Pregnancy
Helper
Forget to take your folic acid?
Download the Show Your Love
app to set reminders and track
behaviors you want to follow
during pregnancy.

SUMME R 2018

27



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Summer 2018 - Parrish Medical Center

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Summer 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Summer 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Summer 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Summer 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - 2
Vim & Vigor - Summer 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - 3
Vim & Vigor - Summer 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - 4
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Vim & Vigor - Summer 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - Cover3
Vim & Vigor - Summer 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - Cover4
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