Advanced Maternal Age and Fetal Development
Age is important in a pregnancy, as the quality of eggs produced has been documented to decrease with age. This puts older mothers at increased risk for chromosomal disorders like Down syndrome. Poor egg quality also can be a reason for higher rates of spontaneous miscarriages. Once you are pregnant at an age of 35 or older, it is up to you and your doctor to determine appropriate genetic screening, which usually includes first and second trimester blood tests that can tell your risk compared with the average at your age for disorders such as Down syndrome.
Also, your doctor probably will offer you an amniocentesis, sampling of the baby's fluid, for chromosomal testing. As far as growth and development of the baby, it is more important that you refrain from smoking, get proper nutrition and obtain regular prenatal care. Your doctor will advise you on prenatal vitamins and supplements that are appropriate for you.