Older mums putting health at risk

May 17, 2012

Delayed childbearing for an increasing number of women is putting them at higher risk of serious illness and complications, a new study has found.

A study of Victorian women, published in The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology also observed complications associated with older women placed greater demand on .

Led by Dr. Mary Anne Biro, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University, researchers examined the link between older , of women 35 years and older, and selected morbidities and complications, using data on all births over 20 weeks’ gestation for 2005-06 from the Victorian Perinatal Data Collection.

Older childbearing women were found to be at higher risk of gestational diabetes, placenta praevia, pre-eclampsia, perineal injury, haemorrhage, caesarean deliveries and multiple births.

As proportions of older women giving birth increase, Dr. Biro said child bearing at the age of 35 years and older continues to be associated with poorer outcomes and some complications are twice as likely.

“The study was the first to examine and report on the age-risk association for a range of obstetric morbidities for women giving birth in Victoria,” Dr. Biro said.

“The ideal age to have a baby is earlier than your late 30s, and we do want women and their doctors to know the risks.

“The findings have implications for childbearing women, maternity clinicians and health services.”

Impacts attributed to complicated deliveries included disruption to families, medical costs, rates of hospitalisation and surgery.

It comes as the proportion of giving birth increased from 7.5 per cent in 1985 to 26.4 per cent in 2008.

In Victoria during 2005-06, 133, 359 gave , of whom 24 per cent were aged 35 years or older.

Explore further: International study shows Caesareans not as 'posh' as commonly believed

Related Stories

International study shows Caesareans not as 'posh' as commonly believed

June 14, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- A ground-breaking study of women who have given birth in New Zealand, Scotland and England, has found the strongest evidence yet that having caesarean sections does not always protect women from the common ...

Risks of pregnancy via egg donation similar for women over age 50 as for younger women

January 31, 2012
Although women over age 50 who become pregnant via egg donation are at an elevated risk for developing obstetrical complications, their complication rates are similar to those of younger recipients, according to a study by ...

Timing pregnancy an important health concern for women

April 11, 2012
A newly published article in the journal Nursing for Women's Health highlights the importance of a woman's ability to time her childbearing. The author asserts that contraception is a means of health promotion and women who ...

Births at home and in midwifery units could signify cost savings for the NHS

April 20, 2012
Giving women who have previously given birth and who are at low risk of complications the opportunity to give birth at home or in a midwifery unit saves the NHS money, is safe for the baby and improves outcomes for the mother, ...

Recommended for you

Hormone discovery marks breakthough in understanding fertility

December 12, 2017
Scientists at The University of Nottingham have shown, for the first time, that a naturally occurring hormone plays a vital part in regulating a woman's fertility, a discovery that could lead to better diagnosis and treatment ...

Study reveals Viagra to be 'ineffective' for fetal growth restriction

December 8, 2017
A University of Liverpool led international clinical trial has found an anti-impotence drug to be ineffective at improving outcomes for pregnancies complicated by fetal growth restriction.

Obese first-time mums more likely to have premature babies

December 4, 2017
Obese women are up to three times more likely to have a premature child during their first pregnancy, according to a study from University College Dublin.

Stillbirth is not just stillbirth—more information is needed

December 4, 2017
Forty two babies are stillborn in Australia every week, and 60 per cent of them are recorded as "unexplained".

First baby from a uterus transplant in the US born in Dallas

December 2, 2017
The first birth as a result of a womb transplant in the United States has occurred in Texas, a milestone for the U.S. but one achieved several years ago in Sweden.

Living in a 'war zone' linked to delivery of low birthweight babies

November 28, 2017
Mums-to-be living in war zones/areas of armed conflict are at heightened risk of giving birth to low birthweight babies, finds a review of the available evidence published in the online journal BMJ Global Health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.