Pregnancy Complications When You’re Over 40

Labour - breathing exercises

Despite there being advantages to holding off on starting a family, the risks associated with later-in-life pregnancies need to be taken seriously.

C-Sections

Certain labor problems tend to happen more to first-time moms over 35 years old. Placenta previa, a condition that occurs when the placenta blocks the opening to the cervix, might be one such labor complication an older woman is more likely to experience. Almost all women who have placenta previa will need to have a c-section to make sure both mother and child are safe and sound. Fetal distress and prolonged second-stage labor are also common issues in older women which may result in c-sections.

Gestational Diabetes

This type of diabetes occurs only during pregnancy and can happen to an otherwise diabetes-free woman. Blood sugars must be monitored closely, and an exercise program may be induced. Untreated gestational diabetes can cause the baby to grow too large and complicate pregnancy and delivery alike.

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Abnormalities

Women over 40 have a higher rate of genetic abnormalities. As mentioned above, the eggs of older women can divide rather unpredictably, and in some cases, this can cause disorders such as Down syndrome. This syndrome happens if there is the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. This chromosome may cause defects of the heart and other organs and cognitive delays. Around 25 out of every 1000 women that are 40 and older will have a baby with chromosome damage. Two tests are available to detect abnormalities if one should want to: amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.

Although there are some elevated risks to having a child after 40, many women have perfectly normal pregnancies. It is just important to know the risks and be prepared if they should occur.

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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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