Women 35 Years and Older
Women 35 years and older have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies, but they do face some special risks during their first pregnancy.
- In recent decades, more and more women have delayed having children for a variety of reasons such as education or career.
- Although pregnancy is a natural and healthy part of life, there are special considerations for a woman beyond 35 years of age.
- An older pregnant woman having her first child may need extra personal and medical care to ensure a healthy pregnancy for herself and her child.
Couples over 35 years of age who plan their first pregnancy, are at greater risk of:
- Male sexual dysfunction
- Miscarriage/late fetal losses
- Low birth weight babies
- Genetic problems such as Down's Syndrome in the baby
- Pregnancy complications like multiple births (twins, etc.), caesarean birth, high blood pressure, diabetes and difficult labour
- Pregnancy complications related to chronic illnesses (diabetes, high blood pressure)
TIPS: Start Today!
- Visit your health care provider before you get pregnant to rule out problems that may affect you or your baby.
- Consult a genetic counsellor who will provide you with education and support.
- Eat food high in folic acid before you get pregnant, and take a multivitamin (as suggested by your health care provider).
- Keep healthy: Exercise regularly, get lots of sleep, and plan to stop smoking and drinking alcohol before you plan to get pregnant.
- Have early and regular prenatal visits.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-546-3550
Adapted from Ottawa Public Health by the City of Hamilton Public Health Services
Last updated: February 22, 2008