According to the MayoClinic.org, being 35 or older is one factor that leads to a high-risk pregnancy. However, a high-risk pregnancy only means that the mother and child may need additional monitoring or care during the pregnancy.
According to WebMD, there are a number of steps future parents can take if they are pregnant and over the age of 35. The most important step is to get early and regular prenatal care. The first eight weeks are essential to the development of one's baby, and frequent monitoring allows the doctor to stay one step ahead of any complications that might develop. The Mayo Clinic recommends scheduling a pre-conception meeting with one's doctor to go over the risks associated with age and pregnancy. There are also a series of optional prenatal tests that doctors offer, which WebMD recommends taking. These tests determine the risk of the infant developing birth defects during fetal development. WebMD also recommends taking prenatal vitamins, specifically ones with at least 400 mg of folic acid. Folic acid prevents defects in the baby's brain and spinal cord if taken regularly during the first three months of development. It is also beneficial for older mothers to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly.