If you’re older than 35 and hoping to get pregnant, you’re in good company. Many women are delaying pregnancy well into their 30s and beyond — and delivering healthy babies. Taking special care can help give your baby the best start.
The biological clock is a fact of life, but there’s nothing magical about age 35. It’s simply an age at which various risks become more discussion-worthy. For example:
▪ You’re more likely to have a low-birth-weight baby and a premature birth. Premature babies, especially those born earliest, often have complicated medical problems.
▪ The risk of chromosome abnormalities is higher. Babies born to older mothers have a higher risk of certain chromosome problems, such as Down syndrome.
▪ The risk of pregnancy loss is higher. The risk of pregnancy loss — by miscarriage and stillbirth — increases as you get older, perhaps due to pre-existing medical conditions or fetal chromosomal abnormalities.
As for the prospective father, more research is needed, but studies suggest that a man’s age at the time of conception — his paternal age — also might pose health risks for his children.