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Older mums need improved standards of care during pregnancy and childbirth

Experts say a worrying number of older pregnant women are at risk of complications during pregnancy and labour

Posted: 12 August 2011
by Laura Nelson
Older mums-to-be are at higher risk of complications, unless standards of care improve
Older mums-to-be are at higher risk of complications unless standards of care improve

Older mums require higher standards of care during pregnancy and childbirth, experts are saying.

Catherine Nelson-Piercy, a professor of obstetric medicine at King’s College London, says a rise in the number of “high risk” pregnancies, including more women waiting until their late 30s to start their families, has fuelled the problem, reports the Telegraph.

“Increasing numbers of women with often complex medical conditions are now becoming pregnant or seeking fertility treatment,” said Professor Nelson-Piercy. “Older women are more likely to be obese, have hypertension, or be predisposed to gestational diabetes and thromboembolism.”

Although the number of deaths has decreased since the 1950s, there has recently been a worrying rise in the number dying from conditions not directly caused by pregnancy.

The failure to diagnose pregnant women properly, investigate their symptoms and treat them has resulted in substandard care. “Many doctors are unfamiliar with the interaction between pregnancy and medical disease, the safety of radiological investigations in pregnancy, and the risk-benefit ratio for the use of different drugs in pregnancy,” says Professor Nelson-Piercy.

Mums-to-be, make sure you keep track of your pregnancy scans and tests to help eliminate any complications.

Also in the news:

•    Julia Bradbury beats endometriosis to reveal first pregnancy
•    Older mums have healthier babies
•    Kelly Preston wasn’t phased about being an older mum

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Older mums, pregnancy, childbirth, high risk pregnancies, maternal death, pregnant

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