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Reducing Your Risk of Chromosomal Abnormalities

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The risk of passing a chromosomal abnormality on to your baby increases with the mother’s age. Although, research has shown that most women in their late 30s and 40s can have a healthy pregnancy and a normal, healthy baby.

If you are over 35 and trying to conceive, consider the following guidelines to increase your chances of a successful, healthy pregnancy and baby:

  • See a doctor around three months before you try to conceive to review your medical conditions, family medical history, medications, and immunizations.
  • Take a prenatal vitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid daily about three months before you become pregnant and through the first month of pregnancy to help prevent neural tube defects.
  • Get early and regular prenatal care.
  • Eat a variety of nutritious foods, including foods containing folic acid, like fortified breakfast cereals, enriched grain products, leafy green vegetables, oranges and orange juice, and peanuts.
  • Begin pregnancy at a healthy weight.
  • Do not smoke or drink alcohol.
  • Don't use any drug, even over-the-counter medications or herbal preparations, unless recommended by a doctor who knows you are pregnant.

References:

Chromosome abnormalities. National Human Genome Research Institute website. Available at: http://www.genome.gov/11508982 . Updated October 13, 2011. Accessed July 24, 2013.



Last reviewed May 2014 by Kari Kassir, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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