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Pregnancy Issues for Women Over Age 35

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Lots of women have babies in their 30s and beyond.  

But when it comes to pregnancy care, anyone over 35 is considered to be "of advanced maternal age."

If you're in this category, don’t take it personally!  

The "advanced age” descriptor refers to the level of risk you face during pregnancy.  Statistically, women who get pregnant in mid-life will face more risks during pregnancy than younger women including:

  • Increased risk of having a baby with an inherited disease or condition. Because it's carried through the genes, this is known as a genetic abnormality.
  • Greater chance of complications with the pregnancy. Examples are diabetes, high blood pressure and caesarean birth.
  • Increased risk of miscarriage.

At the same time, you should be aware that age is less important than:

  • overall health
  • nutrition 
  • lifestyle
  • medical and family history
  • access to good medical care

If you're over 35 and expecting a baby, there are a number of options available to screen for potential health issues.

Call your healthcare provider if you notice:

  • bleeding or fluid loss from your vagina
  • your baby’s movements have stopped or slowed considerably over a 12 hour period
  • extreme fatigue
  • blurred vision and/or headaches
  • sudden or continued swelling of hands or face
  • abdominal pain or abdomen that is hard to the touch

Resources & Links:

HealthLink BC High-Risk Pregnancy

Last Updated: August 4, 2013