Geriatric Pregnancy: What You Know About Pregnancy After 35

As more women are delaying childbirth for various reasons, the phenomenon of geriatric pregnancy, or pregnancy after the age of 35, has become increasingly common. While many women in their late 30s and beyond successfully conceive and have healthy pregnancies, there are unique considerations and challenges associated with geriatric pregnancy that deserve attention.

About Geriatric Pregnancy

Geriatric pregnancy is a term seldom heard these days; instead, healthcare providers often refer to the concept as “advanced maternal age,” typically applying to individuals aged 35 or older at the time of delivery. Generally, if you’ll be 35 or older when your baby is due, you’re categorized under this term.

Many individuals who conceive after 35, and even into their 40s, go on to have healthy babies. However, it’s still essential to consider proactive measures to maintain optimal health for both yourself and your baby during pregnancy.

Fertility Challenges

One of the primary concerns with geriatric pregnancy is decreased fertility. As women age, the quality and quantity of their eggs decline, making it more difficult to conceive. Fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be necessary for some women to achieve pregnancy.

Geriatric Pregnancy Risks

Women over 35 have a higher risk of giving birth to babies with chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome. This is because older eggs are more likely to have genetic errors. Prenatal screening tests, such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS), are often recommended for older mothers to assess the baby’s genetic health.

Pregnancy Complications

Geriatric pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of certain pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes, hypertension, and premature birth. Regular prenatal care and monitoring are essential for managing these risks and ensuring the best possible outcome for both mother and baby.

Geriatric Pregnancy Benefits

Conversely, delaying childbirth until later in life could potentially benefit both you and your baby. Research indicates:

  • Older individuals at childbirth often possess higher levels of education and income, potentially providing more resources compared to younger parents.
  • There’s a correlation between older maternal age and increased longevity.
  • Children born to older parents may experience better health, greater emotional adjustment, and improved educational outcomes.

Advantages of Geriatric Pregnancy

While there are challenges associated with geriatric pregnancy, there are also advantages. Older mothers often have greater emotional maturity and financial stability, which can contribute to a positive parenting experience. Additionally, many women in their 30s and 40s are more established in their careers and personal lives, allowing them to devote more time and resources to their children.


Geriatric pregnancy, or pregnancy after the age of 35, presents unique challenges and considerations for women and their healthcare providers. While fertility declines and the risk of complications increases with age, many women successfully conceive and have healthy pregnancies well into their 40s. With proper prenatal care and support, older mothers can navigate the journey of pregnancy and motherhood with confidence and joy.


Q1. What makes a geriatric pregnancy?
We categorize advanced maternal age, previously known as geriatric pregnancy, as being 35 years or older at the estimated delivery date. Throughout history, pregnancies at this age or older have been regarded as posing higher risks, both for the patient and the fetus, due to various factors.

Q2. Is 37 too old to have a baby?
Beyond the age of 35, the likelihood of pregnancy-related complications that could necessitate a C-section delivery increases. Additionally, there is an elevated risk of chromosomal conditions, such as Down syndrome, in babies born to older mothers. Furthermore, the probability of experiencing pregnancy loss is heightened.

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