As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they’re pregnant, news media and the internet across the globe went abuzz with the topic of Meghan Markle’s “geriatric pregnancy.”
Geriatric pregnancy, also known as “Advanced Maternal Age,” is a medical term used for women who give birth at 35 or older. According to the Daily Mail, the term is not widely used anymore because of its negative connotation. Meghan Markle turned 37 on August 4, and is reportedly in “good health.” She already had a successful 12-week scan, which means that she conceived the royal baby-to-be toward the end of July and start of August, per the Daily Mail.
Discussing late pregnancy in an interview, fertility expert Dr. Dawn Harper told the Daily Star Online that a woman’s fertility, unfortunately, decreases after the age of 30.
“Age is a very important factor for a woman trying to conceive. Women have a finite number of eggs which they are born with and start to lose as soon as they start their first period.”
The doctor, however, added that making changes to one’s diet and lifestyle can significantly increase the chances of conceiving a baby after the age of 30. She said that consuming a nutrient-rich diet and getting a healthy amount of exercise is necessary to boost one’s fertility.
A woman’s diet must contain a suitable amount of B vitamins and magnesium to regulate hormonal activity and cell division, zinc to contribute to normal fertility production, and folic acid to help with the growth of maternal tissues during pregnancy, Dr. Harper told the Daily Star Online.
She also suggested that women should have the following vitamins in their diet in order to boost fertility – vitamin D for the normal functioning of the immune system, vitamin C to boost the production of good quality cells, and vitamin E to prevent oxidative stress. Although it sounds very easy to add these nutrients to one’s diet, Harper stressed that is quite difficult because most people seldom consume a balanced diet.
“If you have doubts about your diet it may be worth investing in a comprehensive, quality nutritional supplement to ensure that they are getting the necessary nutrients required,” Harper said, as quoted by Daily Star Online.
Maintaining a healthy body weight is also crucial to conceiving a baby. Being obese or being underweight, for example, can make it difficult to conceive a child. According to the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS), women whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is more than 30 or under 19 may have problems getting pregnant. Moreover, smoking and increased alcohol consumption can affect the fertility of both men and women, with passive smoking also capable of compromising a woman’s fertility.