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Homebirths for mothers 35+

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

Hi! I have been reading Mothering magazine for almost 2 years now and I am new to the MDC. I am proud to say that I gave birth at home to my beautiful 15 month old son October 2009. It was an experience that I will treasure. However, i would like to have another child and homebirth. I am 36 years old. As we all know, there are many reports out there about older mothers and pregnancy/birthing complications. Does anyone who had a homebirth at age 35+ have a story they can share?

post #2 of 32

I haven't had my homebirth yet, it will be next month.  I am 37 and expecting #2.  From my understanding (very limited), the primary issue with mothers > 35 is chromosomal, namely Downs Syndrome (which is really at greater risk after age 40).  I don't think it would have any effect on labor and delivery - I have never seen maternal age or Downs as high-risk reasons when homebirth would not be recommended.  Eat a healthy diet, exercise and take care of yourself and that will go a long way.

post #3 of 32

I'm very much an 'age is just a number' person. I'm in my mid-30s and we are planning an unassisted birth. I think it's ridiculous that a few months makes a difference between whether I am considered 'low-risk' or 'advanced maternal age'. I think lifestyle is way more important than age -- diet, exercise level, stress level, emotional stability, health history, health of previous pregnancies,  and so on.


I think you'll be just fine smile.gif

post #4 of 32

I had my homebirth with baby #3 at 38 years old.  I did do shadow care with a hospital based mw/ob practice until 36 weeks, because my first was born at 34 weeks, and I wanted a hospital relationship in case I wound up there again.  I was so very glad to see the last of them at 36 weeks!


My CPM, who is also a good friend, was great.  As nurturing as I needed, and as hands off as I wanted.


In the end, it turned out to be my longest pregnancy (41w2d), which drove me crazy at the time, since I was used to babies coming before their edds.  The birth was smooth as silk, and it was great to be home without having to be anxious over when to leave for the hospital (not too early and not too late - arrrgggh!), and not to have to worry about what to do with the older kids.


My 4 y/o DS cut his brother's umbilical cord, which he still thinks is very cool.  My mom was here to watch her grandbaby be born.  My dad and his wife arrived later that day, and he still is awestruck at the whole thing.


My age NEVER EVER was a factor in any discussion, except for the one early on with the hospital based group, in which one mw tried to scare me into getting the full gamut of tests.  Thankfully one of the other midwives interjected and asked me, simply, would any of my actions or decision change as a result of test results.  When I responded that they would not, she supported me and said that getting the tests would be a waste of my time and money.


Over 35 is not really elderly!  A mom that eats right and exercises at 25 is probably a lot healthier and can grow a healthier baby than a much younger mom who makes poor nutritional and lifestyle choices.



post #5 of 32

I had a baby in October of '09 and will have another homebirth this June, one month before I turn 36. My midwives haven't mentioned my age even one time. Honestly, neither have I. 

post #6 of 32

Hi! I'm 38 and pregnant with my 3rd. This will be my first homebirth. I know what you read says that mothers over 35 are not good candidates for a homebirth. However, my midwives have said my age is not a concern. As long as I am healthy and the pregnancy is healthy, there is nothing to be concerned about. 


Hope that helps!

post #7 of 32

I had a HBAC at 38.  My midwife didn't even mention it and the birth was perfect.  Best wishes to you!

post #8 of 32

I had my first homebirth (2nd child) at 36.  I did shadow care with our family doctor (who also delivered dd1) mainly because I had severe hyperemesis for the first 4 months and his only concern about my "advanced maternal age" and homebirth was greater chance of postpardum hemorage and the midwife's ability to handle a pph.  My midwife's main concern was that I was healthy regardless of my age.  Once I was over the hyperemesis, I was healthy and had a great homebirth.  I did have some excessive bleeding during the birth (about 1000 cc of blood)  but it was quickly brought under control right after the birth - my midwife was great!

post #9 of 32

I'll be 36 with this one, planning a HBAC in May/June.  The only thing that came up due to age was a suggestion to do screening for Downs.  I even asked if there were any additional cautions based on my age and was told "you're not old".  :)


post #10 of 32

My first child was born at home when I was 34.  I did have a bit of a "complication" (retained urine) but it didn't have anything to do with my age.  It was a very uneventful pregnancy and would have been a typical birth had the urine retention been noticed earlier.  I'll be almost 38 when we have our second home birth.  Age has not come up with my midwife either.  I also have a friend who had a VBAC at home, I think she is 35 or 36, and her baby has Down Syndrome.  Her home birth was picture perfect and she got a couple of hours with the baby before they dived into the wild hospital ride that came after.  I could list many other friends who are my same age who had home births in the last year, one of whom was 40, we had a bit of a baby boom.  ROTFLMAO.gif  Like someone else said, the age is really just a number and the pregnancy has to be taken as it presents itself.

Edited by CowsRock - 2/16/11 at 4:00pm
post #11 of 32

Evidently the risks are not just chromosomal -- they include:


high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and stillbirth. Also, they are more likely to have complications during labor such as preeclampsia, placental abruption or placenta previa. 

post #12 of 32
Originally Posted by Jane92 View Post

Evidently the risks are not just chromosomal -- they include:


high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and stillbirth. Also, they are more likely to have complications during labor such as preeclampsia, placental abruption or placenta previa. 

Do you have any sources for these, and do you know if those sources separate first-time moms from moms of more than one? In addition, do you know if placental abruption and high blood pressure are linked, as I've heard suggestions that they may be. In any case, the first two aren't really relevant, as they can be tested for, and if the mom doesn't have them, then she doesn't have them, whether she's 35, 20 or 45.


I'm especially interested in links re: the placenta previa as I haven't come across that one before.

post #13 of 32

The midwife group I used only attended births for women 18-35 years old, but there are many midwives who will accept clients of all ages.

post #14 of 32

I was 35 and 11months when I had my HB. As long as your pregnancy is healthy and you have the right support you should do fine. You can always transfer at any time if you feel the need. A good midwife will know if it is needed. I labored for 36 hours at home and ended up having to transfer because ds was so big (10lbs!!!) and he did have some decels. It had nothing to do with my age. Even though he crossed over to this world in a hospital, I still consider myself a homebirther. The experience of being at home throughout the entire labor was amazing and a beautiful experience. Yay for the mid 30's!!!!!! 

post #15 of 32

I was 39 AND strep B positive, and had a beautiful, healthy homebirth. It was the best decision I have ever made. Age was never mentioned as an issue.

post #16 of 32

I was almost 35 when I gave birth to my 10th at home, easy peasy HB, actually unassisted. My 11th will be another HB/UC/VBAC this June. I will be 37 1/2 :)

post #17 of 32

I'm 38 and don't expect I'll have trouble with most of that list this time around.  This will be my first and last homebirth.  I'm excited!  I'm at the perfect age for this transformational experience.

post #18 of 32

I was 38 and 41  with my last two children and  gave birth to them at home (as I did with the older 2 also). My age was not a problem for me.  I felt deep inside of myself that my health was very good;  enjoyed my pregnancies;  and hold precious memories of the births.  It probably was a tremendous help that I had been a midwife for so many years - I could answer my own questions in the middle of the night. lol.  Really, the questions were more from other people ~ just a few, who felt I was really over the hill you know....and you know, I could easily out-walk/hike, out-ride, out-squat, out-sled/ice skate, out-dig, out-spit, out-stay-up-all-night-working, etc. all of 'em.   Now I'm over 55......and with glee took my turn sledding in the dark this winter the hill my son spritzed down with water to slick it up some.  It is all about how we choose ~ to live and trust....or not.

post #19 of 32

I was 37 with my son's HB.  No problem, quick labor too!

post #20 of 32

I will be 27 weeks tomorrow. Things are going swimmingly w/ myself and baby overall. Baby seems to be growing nicely and I think the baby is a boy and will be bigger. I am still exercising briskly, I feel it is helping me w/ my SI joint pain I have had in all my pregnancies. I am enjoying baby's movements as well, such a amazing feeling!

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