Pregnancy Complications When You’re Over 40

childbirth

Although there are some elevated risks to having a child after 40, many women have perfectly normal pregnancies.

Many women are now waiting until their thirties and forties to get married or have children. Some decide to wait so that they can focus on their career, some are waiting to find their mate, and some simply enjoy their freedom. Despite there being advantages to holding off on starting a family, the risks associated with later-in-life pregnancies need to be taken seriously.

Miscarriage

The odds of having a miscarriage get higher once a woman turns 35 years old and continue to rise as she gets older. There is a 35% chance of miscarriage for women between ages 40 to 44 and over a 50% chance for those over 45, as opposed to only 10% for a woman in her twenties and 12% for a woman in her thirties. If the pregnancy does come to fruition, older women also have higher odds of delivering early or their child having a low birth weight.

Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a very serious condition that can occur in women of any age, but it is especially common in those women having their first children at later ages. The condition causes high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Placental substances can cause the mother's blood vessels to become dysfunctional, and kidney and liver damage can also occur if it is left untreated. This condition can happen any time after 20 weeks gestation through six weeks post-delivery.

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Multiple Births

Multiple births might be seen as a wonderful outcome for some, but for an older woman expecting only one, they can be a source of discontent. The chances of having twins or even triplets increases as a woman ages. The eggs of older women can divide rather unpredictably, causing more than one fetus, or she can release multiple eggs at once. All multiple pregnancies are considered high risk as well.

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Pregnancy Complications When You’re Over 40

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2 comments

  1. I had a baby at 40 with no problems & my baby was healthy. I delivered my own baby in the car on the interstate highway because I did not make it to the hospital in time. The problems listed in this article can happen to women giving birth at 20. Having a baby at any age poses risks. If you choose to wait later in life to have a baby, you should evaluate your finances and family history. Get the facts about having a baby later in life and communicate with your medical staff. I would tell a woman in her 20s the same thing.

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