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Does being older make my pregnancy high-risk?

I'm 37 and pregnant with my first baby. I'm healthy, but does my age make my pregnancy high-risk?
Submitted by Team

More and more women are becoming moms later in life these days. While being 35 or older does increase your chances for developing certain high-risk conditions during pregnancy, age alone doesn't mean your pregnancy's doomed to health problems.

Some of the more common conditions that may be affected by age include miscarriage, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, diabetes, placenta previa (in which the placenta covers all or part of the cervix), having a baby in the breech position (meaning the baby is feet-first instead of head-first when it's time to deliver), and possibly preterm labor. In addition, babies born to women over 35 also have a higher incidence of birth defects, having a low birth weight, and macrosomia (meaning the baby grows very large).

But before you start to panic, you should know that if you start your pregnancy in good health, get regular prenatal care and make smart lifestyle choices, there's an excellent chance that you'll experience no complications whatsoever.

Copyright 2009

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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Submitted by gargsweta69
I am expecting my 3rd child at the age of 44! He's due in June. I have pretty much all of the risk factors associated with my age bracket (over 35), pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, & i did miscarry during this pregnancy (I was carrying triplets, now down to one). But, none of this is new to me because of my age, I had all these risk factors (except for miscarrying multiples) when I had my 1st 2 children while in my 20's. I also had toxemia & had a stroke on the delivery table with my 2nd baby. Still, both of my babies survived without any developmental problems of any kind. Both of them where born 4 weeks early, so I expect the same this time around. I am not nervous about the age related risk factors, because I have already been there done that with no residual problems with my 1st 2 children. I am proof that you can make it through all the risk factors repeatedly, so don't worry about it too much - enjoy your pregnancy!
Submitted by cascadecowgirl1
Hey there Im 41 girl friend and have,n a darling little girl in oct, not my first my third,just hang in there.
Submitted by
I'm 36 and having my 4th daughter. I'm 25 wks along. Everyone is different when it comes to Pregnancy. Don't worry about the old wives tales or what family/friends say that happened to them, chances are it won't happen to you. Enjoy the little thing that is growing and kicking you. Just remember common sense and listen to your body. Happy 4th to all!!
Submitted by tkbear121
I'm 36 and having my second baby. I am in my 28th week. 2 weeks ago I went into the Labor & Delivery unit and I was having some preterm contractions. They lasted about 30 hours. After many tests I was sent home. Apparently he was in the breech position and the hospital thinks that my body may be contracting to try to turn him around. I have felt great since then and my son is doing great. Hang in there and enjoy your pregnancy..... you and your baby will be fine!!
Submitted by turtleback13
Submitted by kHIGHAM
is ultrasounds bad for my baby?
Submitted by thorshouse1970
Honestly i dont think you have anything to worry about you and your baby will be just fine.
Submitted by trutygarza