All across the nation couples are continually increasing the trend to have their first child after the age of thirty-five. A baby boom among older women has tripled the number of giving birth after they’re forty’s birthday. This unprecedented level is nearly three times the total of twenty year olds and up by fifty percent over the past decade (Doughty, 2010). Last year 27,000 babies were born to mothers over the age of forty (Doughty, 2010). Research has shown that there are many risks for the mother, the father, and the baby. If a person decides to have a child later in life there are other options than conserving it yourself. Lastly, experts have shown that when children reach an older age they are also impacted.
Health care providers have traditionally viewed any woman over the age of thirty-five, especially one having their first pregnancy, as a high risk patient. Age alone does not predict risk, but several lifestyles factors, such as family history, socioeconomics, and demographics have major impacts on the well-being of the mother and infant. The number and spacing of previous pregnancies, genetics of the parents, nutritional status, and prenatal care of the mother also play an important role in the pregnancies of older women. It is imperative, for all of these reasons, that benefits and risks for the mother and the baby be considered. (Schurk, 2010)
As women reach thirty-five, they experience a decline in fertility. Furthermore, complications during pregnancy are more common when women reach forty. Age- related decline in fertility may be due, in part to the following: a decrease in the number and health of the eggs to be ovulated, changes in the hormones resulting in altered ovulation, fewer number of eggs, a decrease in sperm counts, a decrease in the frequency of intercourse, and the presence of other medical and gynecologic conditions, such as endometriosis, which may interfere with conception. (Nihira, 2010)
There are unique risks for the mother to conceive a child after the age of thirty-five years old. For instance, there is an increases risk of gestational diabetes; preeclampsia which is pregnancy induced high blood pressure and vaginal bleeding (Eggleton, 2009).
Besides the increased risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, women over thirty-five have an increased risk of placental problems. The most common placental problem is placenta previa. This is when placenta covers part or all of the opening of the cervix. The University of California at Davis study found that first-tine mothers over the age of forty were up to eight times as likely as women in their twenties to have this complication. Placenta previa can cause severe bleeding during delivery, which can endanger the mother and the baby, but complications often can be prevented with a cesarean delivery. Some studies suggest that women having their first baby at thirty-five are at an increased risk of having a baby who is low...