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Maternal Age and Special Care Considerations, Part 2

This is the second of two posts in which we are looking at new research highlighting the different health risks that exist for mothers who are either older or younger than average.

Younger mothers had a much higher rate of pre-term deliveries while older mothers gave birth via c-section more often than other groups.

Compared with the average rate of 5.9 percent for mothers between ages 20 and 4, younger mothers gave birth after less than 37 weeks of gestation in 10 percent of deliveries. Preterm deliveries involve significant risks to infants, including cerebral palsy and sensory impairments. 

On the other end of the scale, mothers age 40 or older gave birth via c-section in 54.4 percent of deliveries. This is dramatically higher than the average of 33percent for all mothers (a 53% increase in the last 15 years). C-sections also involve risks for both mother and child.

Research like this highlights how important it is for doctors to carefully tailor a care plan for individual patients. Doctors need to remain focused on the specific risks that could turn into serious birth injuries.

Source: MedPage Today, "Birth Outcomes Worst for Oldest, Youngest Moms," Salynn Boyles, June 13, 2013

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