The wish to become a mother has been delayed in the last years, due to the fact that personal projects are given more priority, which may have risky consequences. Mothers may suffer from a series of negative factors, which must be controlled and checked, so that labour takes place normally.
The first consequence from 40 on is the deterioration in the health state of the mother. It’s linked to pathologies in the mother and in the newborn baby, due to individual and environmental factors, as well as to the metabolic, physiological, bodily and mental changes that take place on the woman.
Pregnancy from 40 on offers less security regarding pathologies, since they increase with age, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Furthermore, the miscarriage and preterm labour rates are higher than in younger women.
Women with overweight or obesity, which is also common over 40, are linked to gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a higher blood pressure due to pregnancy, which may severely damage liver, kidneys and the coagulation system of the mother, which subsequently may cause complications that are life-threatening to the mother and the baby.
Furthermore, in these cases cesarean is more common, since the mother suffers from an ageing process that favours those kinds of pathologies. For example, the baby may be born with Down syndrome, due to the fact that her eggs are not viable or present defects, although the rate of children born healthy is higher.
For instance, the risk of having a child with Down syndrome is 1 out of 400 with 30, with 40 1 out of 100, and with 45 one out of 30. Furthermore, doctors tend to practice cesareans, since vaginal labour implies more risk of bleedings, tearing, uterine inertia and detachment of the placenta.
The delay in maternity has to do with changes in society during the last decades. Women take part more actively in society, in the working market, and in politics. Her economic independence and the importance they give to their career have delayed marriage until 30, which means that the age of maternity has also been delayed.
Even though a pregnancy with 40 implies risks, it also has some advantages, such as maturity, stable economic situation, and being the relationship established at a more advance age, it tends to last longer and children tend to be desired.