Comprehensive Care for Pregnancy Over 35

More and more mothers are having healthy babies over the age of 35. While there are certain benefits to having children later in life, such as being more financially stable, more mature or having more resources necessary to raise children, there are also greater risks for developing specific conditions as a mother’s years increase.

The maternal fetal medicine specialists at University Hospitals closely monitor mothers over the age of 35 in order to identify or rule out age-associated risks. Preconception counseling and prenatal ultrasound along with genetic testing are an integral part of this process and help detect issues so mothers and their unborn babies can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Careful Monitoring of Both Expectant Moms and Babies

The good news is most mothers over age 35 deliver healthy babies. However, these mothers and their babies are at higher risk for certain conditions, including:

  • Chromosomal abnormalities or trisomy, such as Down syndrome
  • Gestational diabetes - a form of diabetes that only develops during pregnancy and usually goes away once the baby is born
  • High blood pressure, including preeclampsia/toxemia which, in addition to high blood pressure, can result in fluid retention and proteinuria, both of which can be harmful to the mother and baby
  • Low birth weight
  • Multiples, such as twins, triplets, and quadruplets
  • Placenta-related issues, including
    • Placenta abruption — the separation of the placenta from the uterine wall
    • Placenta previa —when the placenta covers part or all of the cervix
  • Pregnancy loss
    • Early miscarriages, which occur in the first trimester
    • Late miscarriages, which occur between 16 – 22 weeks
    • Still births, which occur after 22 weeks
    • Recurrent miscarriages
  • Preterm labor or premature birth, when a baby is born before 37 weeks gestation and/or is underdeveloped

Top Maternity Care from University Hospitals

Mothers who receive prenatal care through University Hospitals and deliver at one of UH’s birth centers will have access to knowledgeable experts, highly trained staff and the most advanced technology and equipment available throughout their journey.

Maternal fetal medicine obstetricians will collaborate with specialists and the woman’s primary prenatal care provider to monitor and treat any medical issues that may complicate pregnancy or determine a mother has a high risk pregnancy.

Should a specific condition be identified in the baby, they will also collaborate with neonatologists and pediatric subspecialists to map out a care plan. If a newborn requires intensive care, every pediatric subspecialty is available through UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital’s nationally ranked Level-IV NICU, which is just a few steps away from labor and delivery at UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital.