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Women 35 Years and Older

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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:

  • Infertility
  • 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 or 905-546-3550

Adapted from Ottawa Public Health by the City of Hamilton Public Health Services
Last updated: February 22, 2008