Get ready for pregnancy
A mommy after 35
Women over age 35 have an increased risk of:
- Fertility problems
- High blood pressure
- Placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta is in the wrong place and covers the cervix
- Cesarean section
- Premature delivery
- A baby with a genetic disorder No matter what your age, see your health care provider before trying to get pregnant if you:
- Have a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, a seizure disorder or high blood pressure
Are on long-term medication
- If not under control, some medical conditions can cause risks for you and your baby.
- If you are older than 35 and don't get pregnant after trying for six months, see your health care provider. Older women may find it harder to get pregnant than younger women because fertility declines with age. In many cases, infertility can be treated.
Prenatal care is important
Prenatal care is especially important for women over 35 because:
- They're more likely to get high blood pressure and diabetes for the first time during pregnancy.
- They may choose to have testing for Down syndrome and other problems.
To help reduce risks during pregnancy:
- Eat healthy foods.
- Gain a healthy amount of weight.
- Exercise, with your health care provider's guidance.
- Don't drink alcohol, smoke or take illegal drugs.
- Don't take any medications or herbal supplements without first checking with your health care provider.
Prenatal screening tests
Ask your provider about prenatal screening tests for the baby. For instance, maternal blood screening may be recommended for pregnant women 35 or older.
Test results are usually available within a week or two. Most women who have prenatal screening tests learn that the baby is healthy and feel reassured by the results.
For more information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC Show Your Love Campaign
Last reviewed March 2008