Originally Posted by carrot
My boyfriend's mother is 40 years old. She is due to give birth in April next year, when she will be 41.
But anyway, what is the difference between having a baby at, say 26, and having one at 41? Is there more at risk? Will the baby be as healthy? She has PND for both her other children, is it likely to happen again? Anyone had a baby themselves over 40? Or a relative? What were your experiences?
I guess what I'm asking is - how bad an idea is this? I know it's none of my business, and I can't change her mind, and I guess many of you are anti-abortion but I'd just like some facts and opinions from other sources to make me feel better, like perhaps I'm not being a complete selfish interfering hag.
I don't think it is "none of your business." Both for the reasons you stated, and because this is a discussion board and "none of your business" is just a formula for avoiding discussion. In my opinion, it is no better than answering an inquiry by saying "just shut the f#@k up about this!"
To try to answer you question about pregnancy over 40, let me refer you to the following article:Watch out for pregnancy pitfalls after age 40
by Roy J. Ducote M.D.http://www.swedish.org/17341.cfm
Dr. Ducote writes:
Standard medical teaching indicates a higher risk for pregnancy complications in women over the age of 35. These complications can be categorized as follows:
* Medical illnesses affecting the mother and fetus
* Genetic abnormalities and birth defects
* Pregnancy loss
* Complications of labor and delivery
As age increases beyond age 35, so does each of these risks. Nevertheless, proper preparation before pregnancy and early prenatal care can help assure the best outcome.
On the issue of genetic defects, he writes:
It is an unfortunate but incontrovertible fact that as a woman ages, a higher proportion of her eggs contain chromosomal abnormalities. At the present time, some infertility centers have the technology to weed out these abnormal eggs, but for the majority of women who become pregnant after the age of 40, the risk of a genetic defect increases based on age.
While the general population of childbearing women has a 3% chance of delivering a child with a birth defect, after age 40 this risk rises to between 6% and 8%. The likelihood of having a baby with Down's syndrome is approximately 1 in 365 at the age of 35. This number increases to 1 in 100 by the age of 40 and up to 1 in 40 at the age of 45.
So, to answer your questions: "But anyway, what is the difference between having a baby at, say 26, and having one at 41? Is there more at risk?" You've just learned that there is double the chance of having a baby with a birth defect, and triple the chance of having a baby with Down's Syndrome mental retardation.
I think what is being implied "between the lines" in many posts in this thread is that it is "politically incorrect" to discuss facts such as these, so let's avoid that discussion at all costs. IMHO, screw that.
"She has PND for both her other children, is it likely to happen again?"
PND= Post-Natal Depression ?