Tuesday October 22, 2019

Researchers Suggest Childbirth at The Age of 50 Safe

Besides pregnancy complications, the team also examined if the newborn suffered from poor physical condition, mortality or distress during labour

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Pregnant Women
Lady with her baby. Pixabay

It is as safe to give birth at the age of 50 as at 40 and it would not endanger the mother or the baby, suggest Israeli researchers.

The study, led by a team from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Medical Centre, found that owing to medical and technological advancements – including extracellular fertilisation and egg donation – the age at which a woman can give birth has gradually increased.

“It turns out that 50 is the new 40 when it comes to childbirth,” according to Eyal Sheiner, Director at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Soroka.

“There is no doubt that medical teams will need to handle increasing numbers of birth for women over the age of 50,” Sheiner added.

Complications, such as premature births, gestational diabetes, hypertension and cesarean sections, were found higher among women over 40 who gave birth to children compared to those who gave birth below that age.

Epilepsy is likely due to the higher doses of topiramate when used for controlling seizures. Wikimedia Commons
Childbirth at 50 could be safe: Study. Wikimedia Commons

However, there was no escalation of these complications in women over the age of 50, compared to women who gave birth between the age of 40 and 50, according to the study presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) 39th Annual Meeting on Pregnancy.

But Sheiner still advised to treat the pregnancies of women over the age of 40 as high-risk ones, even more so in case of pregnancies of women over the age of 50.

Special emphasis should be placed on tracking fasting glucose and pregnant blood pressure for early detection of complications, he said.

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The study included 242,771 deliveries at Soroka, of which 234,824 (96.7 per cent) occurred in women younger than 40 years and the rest occurred in women between the age group of 40 and 50 and older.

Besides pregnancy complications, the team also examined if the newborn suffered from poor physical condition, mortality or distress during labour. (IANS)

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Study Finds High Incidences of Abuse of New Mothers During Childbirth

The study also found a high number of caesarean sections, vaginal exams and other procedures being performed without the patient's consent

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Abuse, Mothers, Childbirth
FILE -- A nurse-midwife speaks to pregnant women. A study published in The Lancet found more than one-third of new mothers in four poor countries are abused during childbirth. VOA

More than one-third of new mothers in four poor countries are abused during childbirth, a study published Wednesday in the medical journal The Lancet.

The study, carried out in Ghana, Guinea, Myanmar and Nigeria by the World Health Organization, found that 42% of the women experienced physical or verbal abuse or some form of stigma or discrimination at maternity health facilities.

The study also found a high number of caesarean sections, vaginal exams and other procedures being performed without the patient’s consent.

Of the 2,016 women observed for the study, 14% said they were either hit, slapped or punched during childbirth. Some 38% of the women said they were subjected to verbal abuse, most often by being shouted at, mocked or scolded.

Abuse, Mothers, Childbirth
The study, carried out in Ghana, Guinea, Myanmar and Nigeria by the World Health Organization, found that 42% of the women experienced physical or verbal abuse or some form of stigma. Pixabay

An alarming 75% had episiotomies performed without consent. The procedure involves surgically enlarging the opening of the vagina.

The authors of the study urged officials to hold those who mistreat women during childbirth accountable. They also urged the governments to put into place clear policies and sufficient resources to ensure that women have a safe place to give birth.

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Among the specific steps proposed by the study are: making sure all medical procedures are performed only after getting an informed consent; allowing the patient to have a companion of their choice in the delivery room; redesigning maternity wards to offer the maximum privacy; and making sure no health facility tolerates instances of physical or verbal abuse. (VOA)