Over 35 And Having A Baby
Being an older mom has lots of great advantages, like being more financially secure and having
years of life experiences to draw upon when raising your child. However, your chances of
developing certain health problems are greater when you’re 35 or older.
The majority of older moms have perfectly normal pregnancies and deliver
Since you have a few more years under your belt, it’s really important for you to take extra special
care of yourself. Keep every appointment with your doctor, who will want to monitor your pregnancy
with particular care. You may need to undergo a few more recommended tests to detect any
development risks. And it’s a good idea to stay informed and ask questions so you can stay on top if any
The risks of being an older mom-to-be
First, it’s important to remember that most moms 35 and older have normal pregnancies and
healthy babies. The risks for you and your baby are a little higher than average, but still very
low. Some of those risks include:
- Birth defects. Older women are more likely to have a baby with a chromosome disorder such
as Down syndrome. If you are 25, the chance of Down syndrome is about 1 in 1,250. If you are 35,
the risk increases to 1 in 400. By age 45, it is 1 in 30.
- Miscarriage. Most miscarriages happen in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. As you get older,
your risk of early miscarriage rises. At age 35, the chance is about 20% and by age 45, it’s 80%.
- High blood pressure and diabetes. You may be more likely to develop high blood pressure
or diabetes during pregnancy, which can cause problems including miscarriage, growth problems
in your baby or complications during birth.
- Placenta problems. Placenta previa happens when the placenta covers all or part of your cervix.
This can lead to risky bleeding during delivery. If you’re in your 40s, you’re three times more likely
to have placenta problems than a woman in her 20s. Even so, this problem is rare.
- Premature birth and low birth weight. Older women are more likely to deliver their babies
prematurely, before 37 weeks. As a result, they are at risk of having babies weighing less than 5.5
pounds at birth.
The good news is that you can control many of these risks with good prenatal care.
Through prenatal screening and testing you can know if your baby has a problem before birth, or at least the risks of him/her developing one.