Becoming pregnant after 35 is an increasing trend in our area and doctors are advising couples to avoid waiting until their mid to late thirties and early 40's to have children.
As a woman ages the risk of having a child with chromosomal disorders most commonly Down Syndrome steadily rises. Mothers face a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and blood clots.
The Director of Amarillo March of Dimes Vicki Brooks says many older moms have healthy babies but education is needed to try to avoid complications.
"As a professional in the Panhandle we found out that the higher risk of premature births are occurring with women who are having premature births because of fertility problems and artificial insemination. That figure has risen even over the last five years."
As an older mother herself Brooks says at of 40 she was excited to be having a child but it also brought its own set of worries.
"I was shocked, I was shocked because my boys were 16 and 12 and the downside of that also is I had recently been diagnosed with multiple scholrosis. I was concerned the pregnancy may asserbate the disease because I was in remission, I was doing well."
And an obstetrician says Brooks was not worried unnecessarily. In fact, says Eades, for example if you have diabetes during pregnancy there is a 50% chance you will get it later in life. So what you get during pregnancy is essentially a forecast of what will happen later in life