“Elderly,” in the language of obstetrics, refers to expectant mothers who are 35 or over. (Multigravida means I had been pregnant more than once. If it were my first pregnancy, my code would have read “Elderly Primagravida.” Just as bad!) But this is just one in a litany of quasi-ageist terms knocked-up over-35’s are blasted with: There was “advanced maternal age,” “geriatric pregnancy,” and the fact that I was considered “high-risk.”
A high-risk pregnancy is a pregnancy with maternal and/or fetal complications that requires additional testing, surveillance, or medical or surgical interventions to either treat or assess the progressing pregnancy. A woman may enter a pregnancy already high risk or the pregnancy may start off as normal and become high risk as the pregnancy progresses.
Congratulations! You’re pregnant, so now what? Must you sit still for nine months? Or can you keep working out? The answers: no and yes.
For most women, pregnancy is a blissful time. Despite some expected discomforts, such as morning sickness or aches and pains, many women enjoy their growing belly and bask in the glow of a new life they are creating while they plan for a birth experience that feels empowering and in-line with their values and wishes.
The good news for pregnant women is that having a healthy, normal pregnancy is much more likely than developing preeclampsia. Being informed about the disease, knowing your risk factors, and being in-tune to your body is very important.