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Healthy Baby At 38?
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Healthy Baby At 38?

Went to the doctor today to get a script for prenatals and discuss plans to become pregnant.  I am 38 years old.  She immediately began to spout off statistics about Down's and other problems associated with advanced maternal age.  I must be living in a bubble because I didn't realize that 38 was such a negative number for pregnancy.  Now I am freaked.  Are the statistics that grim?  I have one healthy seven year old son.  Does this help my chances of another healthy pregnancy/baby?
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38 Comments Post a Comment
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244969_tn?1215063907
I think a little of that must be your DR.....I'm 37 now 38 at delivery and my Dr is just the opposite. She is very positive and suggested tests other than Amnio IF I WANTED THEM. That's a bummer, sorry about that!
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238474_tn?1192417309
Change doctors immediately.  You need a provider that is positive about pregnancy over 35.  There are plenty out there.  Your Doctor will only be negative thought your entire pregnancy.  Run for the hills - and get another opinion.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree--switch doctors!  38 is not old at all; find a doctor who sees lots of women your age.  (I got pregnant at age 45 and 1/2--which really IS old--and my doctors were really supportive and positive!)
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree, see another DR.  Mine said at 38, the biggest concern I had was multiples....not such a bad thing!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you all for responding so quickly.  I am going to make a few calls today AND get the prenatal vitamins filled.  I was up quite a while last night reading on the internet about advanced maternal age.  Needless to say, woke up with a killer headache and a whole lot of the same negative info.  I appreciate you all for the positive words.
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Avatar_f_tn
What the heck????  Your doctor must NOT be very well informed.  I am 37y.  My risk at deivery (I will be 38y then) for trisomies using age and weight alone was something like 1:180.  That is LESS THAN 1% without doing any advanced testing.  Now after the first trimester screening my risk went down to like 1:3000 for Down's and 1:6000 for trisomy 13/18.  My AFP also came out totally normal.  Yes chromosomal abnormalities occur more often with advanced maternal age but by no means does it mean you can't have a completely healthy baby even in your 40's.  Even the genetic counselor we saw basically said we didn't really need to do the screen because the risk was very low anyways.  Do not freak out, just get another doctor and talk to a genetic counselor who really understands the numbers.  The early screens are also quite good if you are on the fence about deciding to do amnio.  Our results came back so good that the amnio would be very unnecessary and we did not do one.  Best of luck!!!!
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15031_tn?1219072889
poo on that doctor..thats ridiculous.
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178239_tn?1277409091
Ditch the doc, lol. I got pg for the 1st time at 40. Unfortunately mc due to lifting something too heavy. They did genetic testing on the baby and was 100% normal. My dr gave me the statistics for Down's, etc because I asked her. After she gave them to me she said "It's funny how the statistics are so much higher for AMA women when the majority of babies with Down's are born to women under 35." She made me feel much better. We do run a higher risk of mc, though. I've had 2 chemical pgs since the 12wk mc. We'll just keep trying :)
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166219_tn?1267490838
Yeah the ladies are right swith Dr and switch now :O)  The risks do go but they are not off the charts.  good luck and SSBD
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Avatar_n_tn
Congratulations on your pregnancy!!!! How wonderful for you. I concieved my first child at the age of 38 and gave birth to her at 39. She in 2.5 years old and is such a beautiful and healthy child. Yes, the risk of certain complications to you and the baby are higher, however, you still have greater than a 98% chance of having a healthy child.

My approach to genetic testing was to take blood screens; the triple screen. Bare in mind that these screens are only predictive and also have relatively high false positive and false negative rates. We decided that if any of our screens or ultrasounds indicated that there might be a problem, then we would have amniocentesis. Anyway, our screen indicated that our child might have Down's Syndrome (one of my "older" friends also had the triple screen that indicated an abnormality). My friend chose to have amniocentesis as did I. Neither of our babies actually had Down's Syndrome.

All that I can say is that you need to find a good OB who is experienced working with women of so, called advanced maternal age. The OBs I consulted did give us the stats. They have to. But they were also VERY reassuring. In the end, we went with a group of midwives and loved the care theat we recieved. We also chose a natural birth (hynobirthing) that was nice and normal. Lots of women are having babies in their 3rd and 4th decades of life. Lots of us and our kids do JUST FINE! Congratulations and enjoy your pregnancy.
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Avatar_n_tn
I should say that I met 5 or 6 OB groups before we found the right fit. I had to sign on as a new patient for each consultation. It was a pain in rear with all the paperwork, but we wanted to work with people who would monitor our pregnancy and help us feel at ease, not raise fears just because I was over 35.
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203342_tn?1328740807
Hey, I just wanted to let you know I got pregnant at 38 and gave birth at 39. I had a very uneventful pregnancy and had a beautiful healthy baby boy. It was a surprise baby. I already had two teenagers! Today he is the joy of my life. Don't worry. Just get plenty of rest, eat right and take your vitamins. You'll be fine. Take care.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks everybody for the kind words.  I am going to meet with a new DR next week for a "preconception consultation".  I find myself trying to make small talk with strangers with babies just so I can ask them how old they are.  I am taking prenatal vitamins and doing a lot of thinking.
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273337_tn?1258048932
What is a chemical pregnancy
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1397791_tn?1280505812
I am a 38 year old mother of 2 girls and I'm trying to conceive.  Reading all your encouraging words has put me at ease.  I was a little concerned, but I feel healthy and I believe it will be ok.  One thing that scared me a little though was someone said the chances of having multiples was greater as you get older?  Can someone expound on that?

Johanne
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1345697_tn?1405212702
I am 3 weeks shy of 38 and 10w5d pregnant with my first. My RE of course explained general concerns but was very supportive. In fact, most of his patients are my age or older seeking fertility treatment. I think that's the reference to multiple births. After 35, many women require assistance and once you begin taking medication, you increase your chances of twins. For example, we transferred two embies through IVF so we had a chance of twins but wanted to increase our chances of at least one implanting, so we were willing to take that chance. When I took Clomid before, I had several follicles each time so technically, several could have implanted. None did, which is why we moved on to IVF but with fertility treatment comes the risk of multiple birth.
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1293683_tn?1334022810
I am 39 and was recently pg till 12 wks when we lost our baby .. but we never had one had one discouraging word about my age from our doc or midwives... I knew the risks and that we may have to have extra tests but all that was treated like being extra precautionary .. not that something was going to be wrong!

I have a lot of friends who are my age or older who for one reason or another didn't have their bubs till later .. and all of them are healthy .. no one I know has had a down's bub and I'm surrounded by healthy babies .. I think older mum's are more aware of their health and body's and look after themselves better .. so have great chances of producing healthy genetically strong eggs ..you having the knowledge of what could go wrong is the health practitioner's duty .. after that you can take what you want from it .. but after reading all these wonderful responses on here you can take heart that there are plenty of women out there your age or older with healthy pg's and babies.  good luck!
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757137_tn?1347200053
Well I guess that statistics are that bad if you are a hopeless drunk, or a druggie, or in very bad health. In our family we have babies well into our forties and an aunt of mine had one at 50 and another at 52. All the babies were full term and healthy (as were the mothers). You are not a statistic. You are an individual.
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Avatar_f_tn
First I'd like to say thanks to everyone for their supportive comments. To CuriousGeorg: I would change doctors also. I am going through the same worry you are so I can completely relate. I am 37 and hoping to conceive in August/September. I'll be 38 when I deliver. I would say also to just make sure the water you drink is pure, eat organic and healthy when you can, and take the prenatal vitamins. That is all we can do:-)
To Leila's_Mom: Thanks for sharing the stastic that we still have a 98% chance of having a healthy baby, it sure made me feel better:-)

OH, and CuriousGeorg: keep us in the loop if you conceive!!
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1351078_tn?1404409913
im 36 and know alot of weoman in their 40's having babies and everything is fine I hear all the crud about downs from my mother in law  I ignore do what makes you happy and good luck lots of baby dust to you .
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1286387_tn?1385068846
hi i was just reading your story and i think that women still have babies well into their 40s and beyond that are perfectly healthy so just ignore your doctor and do what makes you happy. I was 19 when i first got pregnant and my odd of a downs baby were 1 in 10 (think you have to be about 60 to have odds like that lol) and i have had 2 very healthy perfect babies and am trying for no 3 (am 30 now).Good luck and love Debbie xx
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Avatar_f_tn
I was reading these comments and feel so bad for woman over 35 llike myself who become pregnant. The information out there is not very positive and is not very up to date. I had my first baby at age 36, a healthy baby girl. I had my second baby 2 days after my 38th birthday. A healthy baby boy. When I became pregnant at age 35 with my daughter I was so scared after reading all the negative things in books and on the internet. My Doctor was positive but, made sure to give me the advanced maternal age speech and about down syndrome speech. I think that all the negative things out there really made it hard to enjoy my pregnancy. My afp came back positive for possible down syndrome. 1:22 on my daughter. I cried and cried. Then I went throught the amnio, waited for 2 weeks. It was the worst 2 weeks of my husband and I's life. Then the dreaded call, I was so scared. I was told everything was normal I cried so hard with joy. The nurse at my Doctors office said, "I have only seen one of these test be right in 8 years of working here." So if that is true why put someone through that much stress during a pregnancy. My baby girl was born healthy but, was c-section. So what! When I was pregnant with my second child my son, my afp test came out 1:4 chance down syndrome. We were given counseling and told I had a big chance since I would be turning 38 when I deliver. My amnio came out no abnormalities and I have a healthy baby boy. I am an RN myself so I have researched this data. The data used for the afp test is very old and not updated. If you are above 35 you will most likely have a positive afp test. Most all of them are false positives over 90%. That to me is rediculous that all these medical professionals are still relying on this test. When they came up with the numbers for these ratios there were not that many woman over 35 having babies. The statistics need to be recalculated. Many woman at 15 to 25 have infants with down syndrome or even still births. I have a friend who had a baby with down syndrome at age 18 and a friend who had a still birth at 22. So why is it that all this information makes it sound like its everyone over 35 years old having these problems.. I say go for it but, just know that all pregnancy's are different. No matter what age you have a risk of down syndrome, abruption, c-section, and still birth. Its just part of life. If you are healthy you will most likely have no problem. It is true that the age of a womans eggs can affect the baby sometimes and her lifetime exposure to chemicals and radiation. But, most often you have like a 98% chance of having a healthy baby. Society needs to make the medical world re-calculate all of these statistics. Good luck. and stay positive.
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Avatar_f_tn
I worried I just found out that I'm pregnant and I'm 37 and will be 38 soon it is possible to have a healthy baby right.I have 3 other kids 15,11,8 I'm really worried.
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231441_tn?1333896366
Hello,

of course it is possible to have a healthy baby at 37.  Many women do it.  The risks are relatively low (particularly at less than 40) and even lower if you are fit and healthy and look after yourself during your pregnancy.  This is also not your first pregnancy, and you've had a big gap so your body should be more than ok to handle this.

I had my first when I was 38.  Am now pregnant with my second at 41!  Many other women have their first children or second etc. in their late 30s and even early 40s.

All will be fine!
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1907180_tn?1329454377
I am 39 and my obgyn is very supportive of me having a baby.  I had no problem getting fertility drugs.  Yes, there are higher chances of miscarriage.and downsyndrome. But it doesn't mean that it will happen. Just a higher chance. I saw don't worry, go for it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow reading all of this is the best I've seen on the internet.  Thanks to everyone for posting.  I'm 38 and wanting to have my 4th baby.  I had a tubal 8 years ago and will need to have it reversed first and then try to conceive.  I just hope it all goes well.  I'm healthy, active and full of love for a new little addition.  Wish me luck. and THANKS !!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
hello im 35 and 18 weeks preg now my husband is 41 he has 3 boys 20,19,17 and i have a 15,and the only girl 18 so we have 5 together and have been married for 11years this is our 1st together we tired for 5 yrs dr after dr meds and all the fertil loop and never nothing so 5 yrs later boom went to E.R. for dizziness and fainting and i was told the big news after 2 weeks of shock we are now happy and cant wait we thought 2-1/2 more yrs and the last one will graduate and were FREE now we will have 1 hopefully a girl here with us. please prey for us we go on tues to find out the sex. Anyways enought about me i was writing due to dr about down sy and other things we were sent over to a testing lab that they offered for 35 and up and tested for everything and all our risk were very low anyways but everything came back fine,so far but anyone whos tring to get preg. my dr had me on metaformin it might be misspelled but its also perscribed for diabetes you might want to try this he said fertilty clinics use it and charge lots of cash so hope this all helps. good luck everyone
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1996325_tn?1327220136
You guys with all this positive feedback is making me glad that i decided to have a baby, I'm 39 and due September 25th, I lost my first baby @ 38 weeks in 1996 and i was only 23 years old, young and healthy as can be 7lb baby boy Brandyn. . .   Thanks for all the positive messages. . .and  wish me luck on this little one He or she was planned from conception 8-)
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938718_tn?1323787114
The risk of down syndrome definitely rises with age, but it doesn't mean you can't conceive and have a healthy baby in your late 30s.  I delivered my first at 41.  He's happy and healthy with no issues.  I am currently 25 weeks pregnant and will deliver at 44.  My changes of ds before screenings was 1:49.  After the NT scan and blood screen, my chances of delivering a baby with ds is 1:3900 with 90% accuracy.  Given these results, my OB did not think that an amnio was necessary unless I really wanted one.  We opted not to have one.  For us, our RE was more 'negative' than my OB, probably because they see so many women of advanced maternal age trying to get pregnant unsuccessfully vs the OBs who see you after your first trimester, meaning (1) you're already pregnant; (2) you haven't miscarried; and, (3) you've already been through your first screen so if there's news about ds, you've probably already received it.  Super sticky baby dust to everyone!
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Avatar_f_tn
so weet of you, eventhough the reply was not for me!! I am just a reader...
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Avatar_f_tn
I thinnk some of that is because of women of AMA taking meds to get pregnant. Anytime you are taking meds or procedures to aid in getting pregnant, that increases your chance or multiples. That statistic is a little misleading.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm 37 and thinking of trying for my 2nd. I'm a little scared. I have a 4yr old son and my partner is 58. What are the chances his sperm being healthy? We get so tired but can't help thinking that a little brother or sister for our son would help him and the family when we/he is older. Our family is very small and we have no support system in place so whether to go through it all again is the dilemma, but isn't that being selfish
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Avatar_m_tn
After reading these comments I feel so much better about my unplanned/planned pregnancy at almost 39.  I am a nurse and know all of the "risks" at my age.  I am not even sure I want to go through the stress of an AFP etc....   I'm not sure I would do an amino and I would absolutely panic for the next 7 months!!!   This age seems to be almost the  "norm" now:).  Everything happens for a reason and I'm sticking to it.  There's no doubt that you have to have a supportive doc.  Good luck to everyone.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have 4 kids now 18 years 16 years 13 years and 11 months old I went and got mu tubes tied after the third one cause we could not afford to have another one. I always said if I can afford to get them untied I can have another on. Well I got my wish at 37. I got pregnant 3 months laterand I have to say it was one of the best easy going pregnacy I had. I to was told all of the stuff but everything came out great in fact not to take away from the other kids but this one is more advanced than my other kids it helps that she looks up to thwm and watches everything they do. But it also helps cause your alot more patient and more relaxed that you was at 20.  In fact I am trying to get pregnant with another one this month so when the other kids move off she will have that bond with the baby and she wont be alone. I still think about what they say but I beleive that it will all be ok in the end. Please dont let anyone stop you from doing this this is your life and I beleive you will be a great mom you already are by being so worried what could go wrong. I bet you are taking excelent care of your self and being very carefull about everything. Thats what I call a good mom. Enjoy your angle to be your going to have so much joy in your life.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello all I must say I enjoyed reading these positive comments. I am 40 and working on finishing my PhD. I was on the fence about getting pregnant next year but all these supportive comments have helped me make up my mind. I plan to get pregnant at 41 and deliver at 42. Thanks so much for your support..it doesn't appear to be to scary anymore.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am 38 years old and almost 6 weeks now.  I have worried about this non stop.  I have an awesome doctor who is very positive and it helps.  I'm still scared.  I wish you much luck on having a new baby.  Keep in touch and let me know and we can get through this together..
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Avatar_f_tn
I too am 38.  I have 5 healthy children, the last was born lay year a few months before I turned 36.  We are trying for 1 more... I just suffered a miscarriage for the 1st time... So heartbreaking in my husband & me...  We were told it was probably due to a problem with how the Sperm and egg came together at conception causing an abnormality... We told our OB we want to try again, he did brief us on the statistics miscarriage & being older. He didn't mention Down's, he had mentioned it during my last pregnancy.  Because I was high risk for several reasons I had blood test and ultrasounds with a high risk specialist.  She is perfectly healthy :) we plan to do a ton of research before we try again for this last baby (near the end if the summer so I am not pregnant in the 3rd trimester right in the middle of winter.
Have you check www.tcoyf.com (taking charge of your fertility) great website based on a really great book full of very valuable information.
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Avatar_f_tn
Risk of mc are higher but those that make it are mostly normal. I started with 1:31 just age, for ds and after blood worx, level 2 u/s only my odds were 1: 32000+, without family history which the genetic ciunsellor said wld even reduce the odds. Did not do any invasive testing and am almost full term. My doc told my hospital not to put me on high risk monitoring (after i told her they had) since my preg was healthy and my body healthy- i never had issues. Just eat healthy, excercise, take your prenats and have a positive doc. We beaer
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