Mothers Over 35 Years Old
The majority of women over 35 years old will have normal pregnancies and deliveries. Most will continue care with their obstetrician, but may come to us for consultation about age-related risks.
Risks Associated with Increasing Age
If you’re over 35, you have an increased risk of complications and health problems during pregnancy and after birth including:
• Gestational diabetes
• High blood pressure (preeclampsia and toxemia)
• Placenta problems (placenta previa and placental abruption)
• Pregnancy loss (miscarriage or stillbirth)
• Premature birth
• Twins or more
• Low birth weight
There’s also a higher chance for chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome.
Caring for Mothers Over 35
While the overall increased risk is less than 0.5%, it’s important to be aware. You have the option of receiving genetic counseling to review your particular situation and discuss a plan for genetic testing.
Though most women over 35 are able to have a normal vaginal delivery, there’s also an increased risk of having a longer labor or needing to be induced. Assisted births, such as those requiring vacuum-extraction or forceps, are also more common with older mothers. With the greater chance of health problems such as placental abruption, there’s also a higher likelihood that a cesarean section will be required. More than 40 percent of older moms have C-sections.