Pregnant woman smiling

Embracing Motherhood Later in Life: 3 Things to Know

By Derek Beyer, MD, FACOG St. Luke's Obstetrics & Gynecology Associates, St. Luke’s Birthing Center
About the Author:
I center my approach to care around prioritizing the patient's needs, providing them with all the information necessary to make the decision that best suits them. I offer guidance and act as a tour guide for optimal medical care. The decision to follow this advice rests with them. I pursued a career in medicine because it offers me the opportunity to impact the lives of my neighbors in a positive way.

Many women today are choosing to start their families later in life. However, there are also a few unique challenges that come with this decision. Here are three things to know to help you prepare for this rewarding journey.

Husband and wife smiling on couch together

1. Fertility declines with age, but reproductive medicine provides solutions.

Around the age of 32, a significant portion of a woman’s healthy egg supply has been used. This can make getting pregnant a bit trickier, especially as she nears 35. However, many are still able to conceive and have healthy pregnancies well into their 30s and even 40s. At St. Luke’s, all our OB-GYNs are happy to address infertility issues. This includes basic evaluations, donor insemination, assisted reproduction and in vitro fertility counseling.

We also partner with Reproductive Medicine & Infertility Associates (RMIA) for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI). RMIA is a highly specialized infertility center that offers cutting-edge fertility treatments. During these consults, patients are virtually connected with an REI specialist. This specialist will focus on treating infertility and fertility-related hormonal dysfunctions with cutting-edge treatment options for female and male-factor infertility.

2. A healthy lifestyle is key in addressing increased risk factors.

Issues like elevated blood pressure and gestational diabetes are often associated with pregnancy later in life. That’s why optimizing your health is so important. Work on reaching a healthy weight, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and eating well. Avoid smoking, alcohol and other drugs, as these can have a very negative effect on your health. Starting prenatal vitamins and DHA supplements three months before conception can also help your body prepare.

We’ve also partnered with Mayo Clinic to provide support for high-risk pregnancies. If a pregnancy is identified as high-risk, a specialist from Mayo will offer extra support to help manage those pregnancies locally, ensuring access to specialized care when needed.

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3. Preconception counseling can enhance the chances of a successful outcome.

It’s a great idea to schedule preconception counseling with an OBGYN before you get pregnant at any age. This valuable step, which is readily available at St. Luke’s, allows you to make sure you’re equipped with the knowledge to make informed decisions and prepare your body for the journey ahead. By addressing any potential concerns or optimizing your health before conception, you significantly enhance the likelihood of a successful outcome when you do start trying to conceive.

Pregnancy care in Duluth, MN

At St. Luke’s, we understand the unique challenges and joys that come with starting a family at any age. With our experienced team, you can trust our team to be your partners in achieving a healthy and successful pregnancy, no matter when you decide to conceive.

If you haven’t selected a provider yet, get to know our expert team.

To make an appointment with Dr. Derek Beyer, MD, FACOG


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