If you have delayed pregnancy for any reason and are 35 or over, you may wonder if it is safe for older women to get pregnant. Statistically, women over 35 have slightly increased chance of having medical complications during pregnancy—then, again, so do teenagers. Research has shown that older mothers are more likely to miscarry, develop high blood pressure and gestational diabetes (gestational glucose intolerance), and have difficult deliveries.
But don’t worry. Newer research shows that older mothers are more physically fit than they were a decade or two ago. While the negative statistics you hear may have been true for your mother, they certainly are not valid today! In fact, in the past twenty years, the number of women over age 35 who have given birth has more than doubled.
Many older women successfully give birth to healthy babies and also have maturity to raise children. Older mothers usually make wiser choices in self- care, ask more insightful questions during doctor-interviews, and assemble a strong birth team because of “doing their homework.”
The bottom line? With today’s advances in obstetrical care, women over 35 should no longer be frightened of having first babies. The risk decreases even more when women over 35 have second babies. If you are contemplating having a baby, don’t let maternal age stand in your way.