or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › "Advanced Maternal Age"
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

"Advanced Maternal Age"

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So, we're all familiar with the age concerns that the medical professions have about moms. But, I'm wondering about them more and more as time goes on.

I'm 38. I want one more baby, and then I'm done. I'd intended to have all my children by my early 30s (ds1 arrived when I was 24), but life didn't work out that way. So, in addition to having had three c-sections, and being overweight, I'm considered 'high risk' because of my age.

The thing is...I've seen several people assert that the advanced age issues don't really apply if you're not having your first child. Is this true? Is there any evidence to back it up? Aside from an increased risk of Down's Syndrome, what are the concerns with respect to "older" moms?
post #2 of 10
I'm 41 and I had my first child at age 40. When I first got pregnant I was seeing conventional obgyns who told me that my pregnancy was considered high risk because of advanced maternal age, and that I would probably need to have a c-section. I asked them what I was at high risk *for*? Besides the risk of chromosomal abnormalities, which shouldn't affect one's ability to give birth normally, the only specific condition that they mentioned was gestational diabetes. I asked if I would still be considered high risk even if I tested negative for that? They said yes, it was still a high risk pregnancy just because of my age... it seemed kind of fishy to me, though.

I ended up going to a homebirth midwife who told me she had plenty of clients in their late 30s and early 40s, and she didn't consider that to be an "advanced age." I had a perfectly fine homebirth. I hope to have another baby if possible, and barring any unforeseen complications I would definitely plan another homebirth.
post #3 of 10
My personal opinion is that the only thing you risk as an older but healthy mother is obstetrical distress.

Honestly, it is a sexist thing. Only men can grow old gracefully and with wisdom, don't you know?

I had my fourth baby days before my 38th birthday at home. The only thing I noticed different physically was that my bones hurt more. Emotionally, I felt more reassured and self-confident about myself as a mother.

Now we cannot let anyone know that, now, can we?!
post #4 of 10
At 37 I've just had baby #2. I was told "AMA" but not "high risk." I always thought of high risk as being things like multiple pregnancies, medical problems, etc. I saw several different OBs during the course of this pregnancy and was never told I was "high risk."

Incidentally, I did see a high risk OB last pregnancy, just by chance, not because I was high risk. Anyhow, I don't recall that ANY of her patients were "AMA" - they all had multiple medical problems and such.

The only "risk" I know off associated with age is the increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities.
post #5 of 10
I'm happy to see this thread. I've always though of "Advanced maternal age" as BS. I have a client who is 40 and was told she was higher risk because of her age and she's in good health and appears physically fit. I hate how OBs scare older moms.
post #6 of 10
My mom was 38 when she had me... and my twin sister and that was 30 years ago.
If you are happy and healthy that is more important than a number.
post #7 of 10
I am also 41 and had my first at age 40. When I was at the GP, he started scaring me with all the Advanced Maternal Age talk, and the nurse was telling me to find a hospital with a High Risk unit, etc. In my younger days i planned on a home birth, but since I was older and getting scared, decided to go the hospital route. The first OB who saw me ran extensive tests and said that she would *not* classify me as high risk based solely on my age, as I was in perfect health. I had a model pregnancy, though I had my days where I did feel my age, as well as my weight. I had no complications whatsoever, perfect blood sugar, blood pressure, etc. No extreme pains or anythingHowever, I talked to plenty of people who said they felt like that when they were young and thin and pregnant.

I did end up having a C-Section, but that was unrelated to my age or weight. I had a fall down 3 steps in late pregnancy, and checked out ok at the ER, but 10 days later I had lost my amniotic fluid so they induced labor, which failed. I was set against a C-section as this may be my only baby (though we will try again) as well as prior surgical complications due to bleeding. After laboring for 46 hours (on th official clock - but it was many more than that), I finally had to do it.

I believe that if it hadn't been for the fall and losing fluids, we would have been able to let nature take its course, regardless of age or size. Though I should clarify that I eat pretty well and am fairly active -- DH is always telling me to slow down, lol.
post #8 of 10
Well, your biggest risk is going to be care providers that think you're at risk. Once you dodge that bullet with careful interviewing you'll be fine.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
I know sapphire - believe me, I know. The woman I'm planning to see is more concerned about my weight than my age or my three previous sections. I still have to meet her in person, but I think she'll work out...I hope so, as my options in attendants for a HBA3C are extremely limited.

I just find it odd. There's soooo much fuss about the age thing, but nobody ever seems to pin down any specific concerns except for the chromosome issues.

I do wonder if there's a difference between a 38-year-old (well, at least 39 when/if I have the last baby) primip, and and 38-year-old who's on her 7th pregnancy and 4th baby. If nothing else, I have absolutely no history of blood sugar or blood pressure issues at all.

So - I guess it's really just one more thing for medpros in general to freak out about...
post #10 of 10
i also question the large window for "advanced maternal age." i was 34 when i got pregnant with ds, but because he was due just after my 35th birthday, i was labeled advanced maternal age. nothing like being told you are an old lady! lol.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Birth and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › "Advanced Maternal Age"