Advanced Maternal Agee: Labor Complications for Older Mothers

A birth cake that reads 35 to symbolize the labor complications for older mothers.

Labor Complications for Older Mothers

Advanced maternal age (35 and older) moms are on the rise. This is because many women are choosing to delay having their first baby until later in life.  Reasons for later pregnancies include career choices and financial stability.  Advanced maternal age can have many positives for a child however, there are often risks to the baby and increased labor complications for older mothers.

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In fact, 1 in 10 babies born to a mother of advanced maternal age is born prematurely.

Risks During Labor

  1. The likelihood of going into labor prematurely increases. In fact, 1 in 10 babies born to a mother of advanced maternal age is born prematurely. Premature births can include many different complications including breathing problems, heart problems, and brain problems, in the short term. Long-term complications can include cerebral palsy, impaired cognitive skills, vision problems, and chronic health problems. 
  2. Older moms have labor risks such as excessive bleeding, prolonged labor lasting more than 20 hours, and dysfunctional labor that does not advance to the next stage.
  3. Your chances of having a c-section are considerably higher.  Among first time moms aged 40 to 44, approximately forty percent had surgical births, as did half of first-time moms 45 and older. Having a C-Section birth is considered major surgery and there are many risks of birth complications through infections. Reasons on why C-Sections delivery are increases with age are not known. However, there are many theories on why this could be including weight. Women tend to gain weight as they get older.  Obesity is known as a reason why C-Sections can occur. 
  4. Older pregnant women are more likely to have gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes happens when you have too much sugar in your blood during pregnancy. Your blood sugar levels can go up when your body isn’t producing enough of a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps: the muscles and tissues in your body to use blood sugar for energy.

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