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Pregnancy Over 35

Pregnancy in older women

While pregnancy risks certainly increase with age, it is important to realize that 35 is not a magic number -- it is merely a generalization representing the average age at which an increase in a number of different pregnancy complications are seen. Every woman is different, and moreover, many women over 35 have perfectly healthy babies every single day. Medical evidence continues to point to the mother's health before and during pregnancy as equally if not more important than whether she has crossed the age-35 threshold.

That said, whether you are under 35 and contemplating when you would like to start a family, or over 35 and planning to start or grow your family in the near future, you should know about the increased risks that come with pregnancy over age 35.

Increased Risks in Pregnancy in Older Women

Women who become pregnant after 35 tend to have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure or diabetes during pregnancy. They are also at increased risk for placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta partially or completely covers the cervical opening.

One of the biggest health risks for babies born to older women is an increased chance of chromosomal abnormality, including that which causes Down syndrome. Pregnant women over 35 are often advised to have an amniocentesis test to identify whether chromosomal abnormality is present in the fetus.

Advantages of Pregnancy in Your 30s

This is a subject that is not often talked about because it is eclipsed by reports of increased medical risks. However, with more and more women waiting until their mid-30s or longer to start their families, it is gaining attention. Women who have successfully experienced pregnancy over age 35, pregnancy over 40, or older are speaking out about the benefits of being more mature parents.

Going through pregnancy in your 30s or 40s can in some ways be easier than in your 20s because you are more familiar with your body. Becoming a parent in your 30s or 40s can also be an easier transition because people in that age range tend to be more comfortable with themselves and more secure in their place in life -- they have often established a home, career and the financial means to care for a child.

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