Being a first-time parent is a challenge for anyone, but women over 35 often face different concerns – both for better and worse – than their younger counterparts. But, do not be daunted, there are plenty of opportunities to calm one’s concerns and forge successfully ahead. Outlined below are some of Baltimore’s best resources for first-time moms over 35. — Mary Medland

Parent Infant Toddler Program

Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore
3506 Gwynnbrook Avenue
Owings Mills, MD 21117
(410) 356-5200

At the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore’s Parent Infant Toddler Program, so-called older moms may actually find the classes being taught by a woman who had her first child after 35. There are two free, four-week programs: one for women who are pregnant and another for those who have just had a baby. And, while the classes are not aimed at older mothers, those who teach them can answer any questions, regardless of age. For first-time mothers in their late 30s and/or 40s, relating to younger mothers can be challenging. Furthermore, they may have doubt that they will be able to keep up with the physical demands of parenting a young child. On the other hand, older mothers typically have more life experience, are more emotionally mature and have greater financial resources. One of the best details is that women get to meet other moms and learn to participate in relevant discussions, enjoy music with their baby and learn a lot of tips that they can take home with them.

Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance

P.O. Box 38917
Baltimore, MD 21231

The Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance touts the city as a great place to raise children and helps parents connect via a number of list serves. For instance, SEBaltCityKids makes it possible for mothers in a number of Southeast Baltimore neighborhoods, including Fell’s Point, Harbor East, Little Italy, Patterson Park and elsewhere to connect with other mothers of all ages – plenty of whom chose to have children later in life – share information, offer support and socialization, and delight in their infants.

Mercy Medical Center

Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Dept. of Maternal and Fetal Medicine
301 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 332-9000

While older mothers were once thought to be in a separate category from younger women, that is no longer necessarily the case. For example, first-time mothers over the age of 35 today don’t routinely have amniocentesis. Under the direction of Robert Atlas, M.D., the staff at Mercy is available to answer questions about abnormal chromosomes, perform screenings and cope with any problems that may arise during pregnancy. As Atlas notes, if there are no underlying medical conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes, the anticipation is that women over 35 will do quite well with their pregnancy. He adds, however, that first-time mothers over the age of 39 will most likely be monitored – often on a weekly basis – to make sure the baby continues to stay healthy.