Could Your Age Determine How You'll Deliver?
While some recent studies have brought good news for women hoping to get pregnant after 35, this latest research isn't so rosy.
According to a new study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, older moms-to-be are at increased risk of requiring emergency measures to give birth, whether that's a C-section or an "operative vaginal delivery," which includes forceps or ventouse. In fact, the study found that women over 40 had triple the rate of emergency C-sections, and nearly double the rate of operative vaginal deliveries of women 20 to 24. Women over 40 had a 22.4 percent emergency c-section rate, and a 23.7 percent rate of use of forceps or ventouse. And those rates aren't just for high-risk moms-to-be: That's the rate for healthy older moms.
But maternal age wasn't the only risk factor for these emergency interventions—using an epidural, induction of labor, large birthweight or a gestational age over 41 weeks were also factors.
Long story short? If you're an older mom, your doctor should be aware of the likelihood that intervention may be necessary—and you should be realistic about your odds of requiring a little help to bring that baby into the world.
Tell us: If you're an older mom, did you have an unexpected C-section or another emergency intervention? How did you handle it?
If you're getting ready to give birth, consider these birth plan strategies to ensure that your wishes are met.