Advanced maternal age is the medical term for pregnancy in a woman who will be 35 or older on her due date. Most women this age have healthy babies. But a pregnancy at this age has a greater risk for problems than a pregnancy at a younger age. These include preterm birth and pre-eclampsia. They also include gestational diabetes, problems with the placenta, and genetic problems.
Most of these problems can't be prevented. But your doctor or midwife will follow you closely to catch most problems early. At every visit, your blood pressure will be checked to make sure it is normal. Your urine also will be checked for protein. Both high blood pressure and protein in urine are signs of pre-eclampsia. You also will be tested for diabetes.
You can decide if you want to have tests to find out if your fetus has certain genetic problems, such as Down syndrome. A fetus is the medical term for a baby before birth.
There are many things you can't control about pregnancy. But there is a lot you can do to help you have a healthy pregnancy. Do your best to eat well. And try to get plenty of exercise and rest.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: March 16, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology
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