The risk of passing a chromosomal abnormality on to your baby increases with the mother’s age. Although, research has shown that most women in their late 30s and 40s can have a healthy pregnancy and a normal, healthy baby.
If you are over 35 and trying to conceive, consider the following guidelines to increase your chances of a successful, healthy pregnancy and baby:
- See a doctor around three months before you try to conceive to review your medical conditions, family medical history, medications, and immunizations.
- Take a prenatal vitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid daily about three months before you become pregnant and through the first month of pregnancy to help prevent neural tube defects.
- Get early and regular prenatal care.
- Eat a variety of nutritious foods, including foods containing folic acid, like fortified breakfast cereals, enriched grain products, leafy green vegetables, oranges and orange juice, and peanuts.
- Begin pregnancy at a healthy weight.
- Do not smoke or drink alcohol.
- Don't use any drug, even over-the-counter medications or herbal preparations, unless recommended by a doctor who knows you are pregnant.
Chromosome abnormalities. National Human Genome Research Institute website. Available at:http://www.genome.gov/11508982. Updated October 13, 2011. Accessed July 24, 2013.
Last reviewed May 2015 by Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 5/20/2015