Having Babies After 35 May Be Safer Than We Thought

February 4, 2014  |  
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Doctors, friends and family basically have us thinking that 35 is a deadline, if not the deadline, for having children. Your fertility goes down and your baby’s at risk. Turns out, that may not be quite true. New research from the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine found that when you remove the risk of chromosomal abnormality from the occasion, having babies after 35 isn’t actually riskier when it comes to physical defects. Phew!

It is still true that women who have children in their mid to late thirties have a higher risk of having children with conditions like Down syndrome, but until recently, doctors didn’t have data on the rates of congenital abnormalities like heart, lung or brain conditions. Researchers analyzed data from 76,000 pregnant women both under 35 and over 35. Women of mature maternal age showed a decreased risk of having children with congenital defects (40 percent). “Specifically, the incidence of brain, kidney, and abdominal wall defects were decreased in this group of women, while the incidence of heart defects was unchanged,” the report stated.

As women are waiting longer and longer to have children, this study can let mamas-to-be in their mid-thirties breathe a little easier. Still, if you are trying to conceive at a later age, make sure you’re prepping your body with plenty of folic acid.

Did you worry about getting pregnant after age 35?


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