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Over age 40 non-stress tests?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am 32 wks and my OB said starting at 34wks I will need to do a non-stress test twice a week, every week, until I deliver. She said there's greater risk of still birth after age 40. I just turned 40 last Oct. I haven't heard of this, I think b/c most of my friends delivered their babies just under their age of 40yrs. Is anyone else familiar with or having to do this as well?
post #2 of 7
I had heard of the increased risk a few years ago. My OB will have me doing them twice a week also starting around 36-38 weeks or so, and I am 36. She hasn't told me for sure when. Mine will be twice a week also. I also did them twice a week starting at 37 weeks with dd1, but it was because of decreased movement.
post #3 of 7
I had asked my midwife a while ago about higher risk in the third trimester because of my age (I will be 42 when this one will be born), and she said No. (I was particularly concerned about the placenta failing me at the end because of my age, and she did not share that concern at all). So no extra testing for me, and that's fine with me. But then, I'm in Canada (Ontario).
post #4 of 7
Coming out of lurkdom to answer this one...

I was just shy of 39 when my last LO was born, and my MWs had me do an NST once a week starting at 37 weeks. I had several extra u/s, too, but that was mostly b/c she had turned breech at 35 weeks, and then righted herself a couple of weeks later. I will have to have them this time, too, as I will be 42 when I deliver. *shocking, I know*

The reason they gave me is that in women over 35, and even more in women over 40, the placenta starts to deteriorate starting at 37-38 weeks, and there is an increased risk of stillbirth after 40 weeks. So they want to make sure that everything is functioning as it should. I had no problems, and everything was always fine. I delivered a perfectly healthy baby girl at 40 wks 4 days, laboring in the water for 2 hours, and pushing for 20 minutes.

Now, after my last appt at 29 weeks, one of the MWs had the audacity to suggest that I *might* want to think about being induced at 39 weeks, b/c it's just not safe to go beyond 40 weeks for me, and (get this) that I might not recognize what labor feels like in time to get to the hospital. Me, who has been through NCB 6 times... REALLY?????????

In response to THAT, I found THIS article that I intend to bring with me if it becomes an issue. I'm chalking it up to the possibility that this mw just was having a bad day, b/c she also had trouble determining the baby's position and finding the HB. So I suspect (hope???) that she was just up all night delivering babies, and not really thinking through what she had just said...

But in answer to your question, it seems to be more and more standard practice to order a NST for us ancient mamas... I am not going to agree to any induction, though, unless they can prove to me that there is a danger to MY baby, and not just some general statistic about "women *my* age"... I think twice a week might be overkill... Maybe see if they will compromise on once a week? Especially if your kick counts are going fine. That' a LOT of time to spend in that chair hooked up to the monitors... *sigh*

Also, you'll want to have something to eat/drink before you have the NST, b/c they want your LO nice and active. I had the unfortunate experience of going in for one while mine was napping, and they couldn't wake her up. It took forever, but she finally decided to come around and was soon having a party in there...

It just frustrates me how so much of our care, even from a mw, is based on CYA medicine, instead of evidence-based care... *sigh*
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the responses ladies. Twice a week does seem like a bit much to be running to the Dr. Thanks for the tip on eating and drinking before hand. I had one non-stress test with my DS when he went over 40wks. But that was the only test I had and I was 37yrs old at the time. I guess each OB practice is different. I ended up with a c-section with DS b/c after 15hrs of labor, I never dialated past 1cm. They're scheduling a c-section at 39wks with this pregnancy. I wasn't really keen on the idea. But I don't feel like fighting my Dr.s and I am worried about going through all the labor and not dialating again.
post #6 of 7
Really? I turned 40 in December and am 32 weeks pregnant now and no one has mentioned it.

What is involved in a non-stress test?
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
The non-stress test, from what I remember, is just getting your belly hooked up to the baby heartrate monitor and having the activity recorded for 30mins. They want me to come to their office and do them twice a week until delivery.
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