If you are older than 35 and don't get pregnant after trying for six months, see your health care provider. Older women may find it harder to get pregnant than younger women because fertility declines with age. In many cases, infertility can be treated.

Prenatal Care Is Important

Prenatal care is especially important for women over 35 because:

  • They're more likely to get high blood pressure and diabetes for the first time during pregnancy.
  • They may choose to have testing for Down syndrome and other problems.

Healthy Habits

To help reduce risks during pregnancy:

  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Gain a healthy amount of weight.
  • Exercise, with your health care provider's guidance.
  • Don't drink alcohol, smoke or take illegal drugs.
  • Don't take any medications or herbal supplements without first checking with your health care provider.

Prenatal Screening Tests

Ask your provider about prenatal screening tests for the baby. For instance, amniocentesis is often recommended for pregnant women 35 or older.

Test results are usually available within a week or two. Most women who have prenatal screening tests learn that the baby is healthy and feel reassured by the results.

Content courtesy of the March of Dimes.