Older Mothers in Australia

CPD Hours: 1.5
Current as at 19 October 2021
This report seeks to identify the factors associated with pregnancy and delivery among women aged 35 years and over. Therefore, this report is crucial for women of reproductive age and their families to be made aware of these risk factors through physician visits, health education, and various community-based health interventions.

Tags:

“Review data on pregnancy and childbirth for women aged 35 years and over, with comparisons to women who were younger when they gave birth “

Course Content

Pregnancy is always considered a normal physiological process, however, the associated risk during pregnancy may be detrimental to the health of the baby and mother.

Women, who have their first pregnancy at a late age, are called elderly primigravida.

Though the age limits are arbitrary, the international standard FIGO-1951 has fixed 35 years as the lower age limit for elderly primigravida. However, delaying childbearing is not without important health considerations. Older women are at greater risk of obstetric interventions and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Women aged 30 years and above have twice the rates of antepartum hospitalization than their younger counterparts.

Medical risks are related to an ageing reproductive system and an ageing body, with a decrease in fertility and may be associated with pregnancy complications like hypertension, Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), and Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and many more and in elderly primigravida. The consequences of advancing maternal age, however, are not only for the risk of natural and assisted conception but also for the outcome of pregnancy even in normal women who are getting pregnant spontaneously. 

Advanced maternal age is becoming an increasingly relevant issue in high-income developed countries, developing countries are exhibiting a trend towards later childbearing, and the number of women becoming pregnant after 35 years for personal (eg, relationship stability), educational, or financial reasons continues to rise in high-income countries. Lower fertility, greater need for assisted reproductive therapy, and an increase in co-morbidities, such as hypertension and diabetes, are some of the reasons for the rise in adverse maternal and fetal outcomes.

There may also be potential psychological and social advantages to delaying childbirth. For example, pregnant women aged ≥35 years are better educated, have higher socioeconomic status, and have lower parity.

This report seeks to identify the factors associated with pregnancy and delivery among women aged 35 years and over. Therefore, this report is crucial for women of reproductive age and their families to be made aware of these risk factors through physician visits, health education, and various community-based health interventions.

Learning Outcomes

In this session, you will:

  • Review data on pregnancy and childbirth for women aged 35 years and over, with comparisons to women who were younger when they gave birth 
  • Consider advantages and disadvantages Australian women face when giving birth for the first time later in life
  • Explore outcomes for older first-time mothers, with comparisons to women who have given birth previously 
  • Discuss how likely tare older mothers to experience complications during pregnancy and birth when compared with younger mothers
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