Dangers Involved When You Become A Mom At 40

April 06, 2017

You might decide not to be a mum earlier due to some reasons but do you know that your decision might be dangerous to you and your baby to some extent. This is because as you delay childbearing until later in life the risk of having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities as well as Down syndrome increases by the day.

Generally, there are more risks having a baby when you are over 40 due to the increase in genetic abnormalities as the egg gets older by the day. A woman over 40 who is pregnant needs to be under the care of a consultant obstetrician at the hospital than any midwife in the community.

Below is a list of the risks involved for you and your baby as your age increases.

1.    Pre-eclampsia – this happens due to the amount of protein present in your urine and high blood pressure. It is a condition that can result in the death of the mother in most cases, but in cases where it is detected earlier the baby has to be delivered prematurely to save the life of the mother and baby and this is common among women trying to be a mother after 40.

2.    Low birth weight – women who tend to become mums over 35 are likely to give birth to their baby early as they are under fetal growth restriction which their baby must not go beyond so as to avoid complications.

3.    High risk of Down syndrome – this is a genetic abnormality caused due to an error in cell division. There are many types of Down syndrome but funny enough the exact cause is unknown.

4.    High blood pressure – normally when you get pregnant your blood pressure changes due to the relaxation of the progesterone hormone on the walls of your blood vessels which makes your blood pressure fall during your first stage and the second stage of pregnancy making you feel tired and faint when you stand for too long.
 As you get to mid pregnancy stage your blood pressure starts to rise gradually which might be high among women of older age also known as gestational hypertension, but when it arises you will be referred to a hospital for specialist care.

5.    Chromosomal abnormalities in your eggs – this is a complication common among women of older age and this can result in miscarriages and birth defects which can be dangerous to the health of the mother and baby.

6.    Caesarian operation – a woman who tends to become a mother above 40 is likely to give birth by caesarian due to the following reasons
a.     Long labour due to the less efficiency of the muscles of your womb.
b.    Baby being in an awkward position at birth which is common among women of older age.
c.     High risk of fetal distress during labour especially women having their first baby when they are over 40.
Also read: Things to expect during pregnancy

7.    Miscarriage – the rate of having a miscarriage is high among older women than the young ones and this happens mostly before 24 weeks of their pregnancy.

8.    Non-chromosomal birth defects – when women over 40 try to become a mother the baby is at a greater risk of having birth defects such as heart abnormalities and must be on the watch out when having your anomaly scan in mid-pregnancy.

old woman

9.    Gestational diabetes – older women trying to become a mother are prone to this because their pancreas respond slowly making it unable to produce more insulin needed by the body during pregnancy stage whereby triggering diabetes during this period.

10.Placenta praevia –  It happens when your baby is lying in a breech position or having a painless vaginal bleeding or after having sex in your second or third stage of pregnancy.
 Blocking the way of your baby coming out from your vagina and this may be partially or complete covering of the vagina which can result in bleeding or in most cases. When this is noticed it is advisable to call your doctor or midwife immediately.  

11. Affected labour – women who tend to become a mother over 40 may need assistance or medical interventions such as induction at 39 – 40 weeks of their pregnancy or during the birth of their baby so as to reduce the risks of stillbirth or other complications.
Other risks are having a stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy, multiple pregnancy e t c.

You can also read How-to-do-pregnancy-test-at-home-easily.

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