Many women are delaying pregnancy until their 30s and 40s. This is no more hazardous than being in your 20s as long as you are fit and healthy. Whatever your age, you are likely to have a normal pregnancy and birth, although problems such as infertility and chromosomal defeats – for example, Down’s syndrome – do become more frequent with the increasing age of both parents. Tests for chromosomal abnormalities are always offered to older women.

How then do I prepare for pregnancy?

When you make the decision to become parents, it makes sense to prepare yourselves in advance. To have a healthy baby, research shows that by far the most important factors are your own fitness and nutrition. As a prospective mother, the fitter you are, the more easily your body will be able to cope with the stresses and strains of pregnancy. But fitness and lifestyle may also change a man’s ability to father a child, by affecting sperm production. Its best if you both try to think about your general health and lifestyle at least three months before you’re planning to stop contraception.