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Older mums have healthier babies

Being a mum later in life found to have unexpected benefits

Posted: 11 April 2011
by Kimberley Smith
healthy babies
Older mums' babies need fewer hospital stays

Older mums may actually have healthier babies, despite warnings about the health and pregnancy problems for mums over the age of 35. Babies born to mums aged 40 and over were actually found to have a lower chance of being admitted to hospital in their first year.

The chance of hospital treatment for babies born to mums aged 20 to 25 was 15.7% while babies whose mums were 40 or over only had an 11% likelihood of needing emergency treatment. Admittances were generally for asthma, viruses, stomach bugs and pneumonia.

Another benefit for babies with older mums is higher rate of being up to date with all their immunisations.

“This is a powerful statement which essentially says that once the children are born to older mums they have better outcomes than younger mums as a whole,” said Alastair Sutcliffe, a consultant paediatrician who carried out the research.

“This is good news for older mums who may feel perhaps criticised about having a baby later in life,” Alastair added.

Obstetricians recommend women have children between the ages of 20 and 35 to reduce the risk of miscarriage and having babies with chromosomal abnormalities, low birth weight or other complications. Doctors have also stressed the difficulty of late parenthood due to declining fertility. But it seems once older women have their babies they make excellent mums.

Find out more about having a baby over 35.

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