Pregnancy After Age 35

It’s a myth that being 35 or older means your pregnancy will be high risk. Making the right choices now and working with your health care provider can help make your pregnancy trouble-free.

Things to Think About

Most women who are 35 or older have normal pregnancies, but there are some things to think about before getting pregnant. Once a woman reaches 35, she has a greater chance for:

  • Problems getting pregnant

  • Miscarriage

  • Diabetes or high blood pressure while pregnant

  • Being tired all the time when pregnant

  • Cesarean section (surgery to deliver a baby)

  • Having babies with genetic problems, such as Down syndrome

  • Being pregnant with two or more babies

Making the Right Choices

Before and after you become pregnant:

  • Don’t use recreational drugs.

  • Don’t drink alcohol.

  • Don’t smoke.

Keeping You and Your Baby Healthy

Before and during your pregnancy:

  • Take a daily vitamin supplement that contains folic acid and iron.

  • Eat a high-fiber, low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

  • Stay physically active.

  • Keep a healthy weight.

  • Avoid contact with harmful substances in your home or workplace.

You may need extra care if you have any of the following:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

  • Diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Other chronic health problems

Special Health Care

Fertility counseling. As women age, getting pregnant can get more difficult. Ask your health care provider how long you should try to get pregnant before seeking help from a specialist.

Genetic counselilng. Genetic counseling evaluates the risk for birth defects in your baby. You will be asked detailed questions about your family health history. You may also have medical tests.

Amniocentesis. This test studies amniotic fluid (liquid that surrounds the fetus in the womb). It can help diagnose birth defects and other medical problems.