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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

BEYOND 40 WEEKS GESTATION MAY BE RISKY OVER AGE 40

Doctors watch women with pregnancies over 40 closely

I recall my OB-GYN recommending that we induce at 39 weeks due to my "advanced age".  Although I wanted an"all natural" delivery, I wanted to do what was safest for my baby.

See also: www.getpregnantover40.com for more on pregnancy, fertility and miscarriage over 40

I went along with the recommendation because the placenta can start to deteriorate after a pregnancy is full term.  For older women, this could be a double whammy since their placentas may be a little "lower quality"  to begin with just because their eggs are older.  Here is a study about complications in post-term pregnancies:
From the article:

The two studies focused on different elements of the risk of progressing beyond 41 weeks of gestation,
but held similar conclusions.* The first study, which followed 1.8 million normal births in California from 1999 to 2003, reported greater odds of infant death among those born at 41 and 42 weeks. The second study examined 2.5 million low-risk births nationwide in 2003, and reported that the risk of cesarean deliveries and poor health outcomes for both mother and child increased at 40 weeks and beyond.

“Significant research has focused on the risks of premature deliveries, but until now, there have been no large-scale studies documenting the increased risk of delivering at 40 weeks or more,” said Aaron Caughey, MD, MPH, PhD, an associate professor of obstetrics at the UCSF Medical Center and UCSF School of Medicine and senior author on both papers. “Combined, these two papers provide

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very compelling evidence of the importance of closely monitoring pregnancies beyond 40 weeks and possibly intervening to prevent complications to both mother and child.”

It is widely accepted that pregnancies that progress beyond 42 weeks gestation are associated with increased risk to both mother and child, said Caughey, who is also affiliated with the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recommended fetal surveillance or induction of labor at 42 weeks. Previous studies of infant mortality also have reported that the rate of stillbirths is lowest at 37 to 38 weeks and increases six-fold to 2.12 stillbirths per 1,000 pregnancies at 43 weeks. (www.sciencedaily.com)

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