Induction at 40 weeks because I'm 42 years old. Anyone else?

(35 Posts)
Thatsnotmyfigure Wed 30-Apr-14 21:54:31

I thought I knew all our hospital's policies on 'older mums' (Grrrr) as I was 40 with DC1 . It turns out this time they want to induce me at term (which is 4 days before term according to my dates, but that's another story!).
The consultant quoted some research on failing placentas in older mothers. Has anyone read this or knows where I could find this? I'm sure there was some new research a year or so ago that said older Mums have longer pregnancies, but I also dont know where to find this
Don't get me wrong - I absolutely do not want to take any risks, but the consultant was very authoritarian and patronising and left me feeling without choices. Last time round I delayed induction till 41+6 and had a show, then one intervention and a normal delivery. My pregnancy is totally normal so far so the only reason they want to bring the induction forward to 40 wks is my age. I have had so many friends who've ended up in the cascade of intervention and not had positive birth experiences. It just provokes quite an angry reaction in me - I'm not even sure why!
Has anyone else had induction suggested at term because of age?

hellymelly Wed 30-Apr-14 21:57:45

I had both dds in my 40s (one born the week I turned 41, the other at 43) but no-one suggested induction at 40 weeks. i did get induced with dd1 but due to pre-eclampsia, and went into labour at 39 and a bit weeks with dd2. i was told at the time they would monitor me after 41 weeks.

RoganJosh Wed 30-Apr-14 21:58:36

All I know is that it's not routine in my area. Have you looked at the NICE guidelines?

CarrotCakeMuffins Wed 30-Apr-14 22:25:59

I am also 42 and due in a few weeks. All the midwives I have seen have told me I am NOT old. Also, that they will not want to induce me as I had a previous CS with DC1.
I am also hoping to have a home birth which the midwives are supportive of. Although I also have to see a consultant at the hospital next week, who has a different view.
I think you need to question this more.

Thatsnotmyfigure Wed 30-Apr-14 23:04:31

Thanks everyone that's v helpful. I will have a look at the NICE guidelines again. V impressed they are letting you have a home birth carrot cake- no chance of that with the attitude of this NHS trust! Good luck!

QueenOfGeeks Thu 01-May-14 07:51:17

I am in exactly the same boat as you OP. They have told me I should be induced on my due date (again their date not mine) due to increased risk of still birth. I would love to know what the figures are, I will be 41 when DD is due.

LaVolcan Thu 01-May-14 09:07:39

Grr - this all annoys me: you are offered an induction not told that you will be having one. Nor do they 'allow' a home birth for anyone, or has anyone 'got' to see a consultant. They may offer a consultant appointment, and they may advise that you do or don't do something, but there is no compulsion about it for a mentally competent woman.

MoonHare Thu 01-May-14 15:10:01

Agree with LaVolcan, attitudes towards pregnancy are often so frustrating and I would feel the same in your shoes OP.

Thinking practically about your specific question - could you email your consultant's secretary say you were quoted this research and ask them to let you know how you can get hold of the the exact study the consultant referred to?

I wonder how the 'slightly' increased risk of placental failure balances against the increased risks associated with induction??? Surely they can scan you at 40 wks to check blood flow to placenta, growth etc???

Hope all goes well.

ChunkyPickle Thu 01-May-14 15:24:06

The cochrane reviews have a lot of information. I did a lot of research for ds2 because I planned to refuse induction and go straight to section after my first experience.

I did read some studies on placentas which made me feel fine about waiting up to 2 weeks overdue, but I can't remember which site I found it on.

Thatsnotmyfigure Thu 01-May-14 15:30:28

LaVolcan that is not how it was phrased to me. I was not offered an induction. I was told that he would not induce me any later than 40+3. (I don't think he'd even read my notes, just focused on my age)
Today I have spoken to a midwife who checked the hospital's policy and found nothing, also the NICE guidelines and the RCOG guidelines and similarly no guidance on older women. It's not about ignoring the risks, it's about being offered the choice and being presented with a balanced picture. If I find any research I will post here! Tomorrow I can call the Consultant midwife. Thanks for the info on the cochrane reviews Chunky!

LaVolcan Thu 01-May-14 16:46:18

Quite so Thatsnot - from what you say, he didn't offer anything, which is what he should have done. He didn't bother to sit down with you and discuss what the options were, one of which is doing nothing and waiting for things to happen, to going for various interventions. Nor did he bother to discuss the pros and cons of each option. Grr again.

Thatsnotmyfigure Thu 01-May-14 20:08:00

Exactly. Grrr from here too!

Thatsnotmyfigure Thu 01-May-14 20:14:42

Here's a research paper from 2013. have still to digest it as my brain has gone to sleep now!
www.rcog.org.uk/womens-health/clinical-guidance/induction-labour-term-older-mothers-scientific-impact-paper-34

and the BBC summary
www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21277369

TheRealGabster Tue 06-May-14 20:37:34

Hi Thatsnot. I am in exactly same position. 42yrs old and consultant insistent from start that he would not let me go past 39+0wks. The link to the study above is what he gave me in the end. I was really torn when I read it. You can see the risk goes up but ....it's such a hard one.

My whole pregnancy has gone really well with absolutely no complications or causes for concern so when I had my consult last week they admited everything seems to be still growing nicely (fundal height etc) so they agreed to "let me" go to term hmm (I was 39wks yesterday).

If it's what you want, my argument suggestion was that rather than inducing me, if there was a real risk, I was happy to have daily monitoring rather than risk my baby be born before she was ready. This seemed to do the trick! grin.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

BikeRunSki Tue 06-May-14 20:40:11

My hospital would have induced me with dd at 42 weeks - which would have been my 41st birthday. Luckily for is all she came along of her own accord at 39 weeks.

DaffyDuck88 Tue 06-May-14 21:18:37

I had my DD naturally in the birthing pool of the local Midwife led birthing centre just a few days after her due date. I was 44. Never any talk of induction. To be honest if I thought I was being treated as a statistic rather than an actual live patient I'd have been furious. They can't force you to do it can they? The decision/recommendation to do so has to be based on your individual case, anything else is just wrong. I did hypnobirthing and there was a great acronym they suggested but I can't for the life of me find it. It basically advised that you ask if what they were suggesting;
is absolutely necessary and why;
if there were are alternative procedures;
does it have to be done immediately etc.
There were a few more and it just bought you time to consider each proposed step or intervention and help you focus on the reasons without being too emotional etc.

If only I could remember them all, (maybe someone else knows it?), I found it really calming to have the questions as back-up and drilled into DPs head. I was terrified of things becoming medicalised and 'done' to me so to speak rather than going with the flow - so had him geared up to ask the questions if needed. As it turned out they weren't. Thankyou lovely Lewisham birth centre and fabulous midwife Ally!

Ultimately we all know we will do whats best for our baby, we just have to keep ourselves in the picture too and remain calm.

Hope all turns out well for you, I've read other threads which suggest that if you get the support of the midwives you stand a better chance to go for the birth you want (with safety for both you and baby paramount of course) rather than whats just easiest or text book for the doctor. Also its not even policy, different hospitals advise different things. I just googled and for example one in Bristol suggests avoiding an induction at all costs!

Very best of luck!

AWombWithoutARoof Tue 06-May-14 21:24:47

Nothing useful at all to add, except that it's rather cheering as a TTC 43 year old to see lots of women in their 40s on this thread firing out babies all over the place. grin

DaffyDuck88 Tue 06-May-14 21:31:41

Hang in there AWombWithoutARoof, I met loads of people while pregnant and afterwards of a similar age. In fact technically I was 44 when dd was conceived but she arrived the day after my birthday so I was in fact 45. Fingers crossed for you too!

SapphireMoon Tue 06-May-14 21:46:32

At just off 43 I had my 2nd child. Very healthy pregnancy, good placental flow at 20 week scan, low blood pressure etc, etc.
Midwives said just carry on beyond due date, consultant went on about risk so much I agreed to induction at due date [40 weeks]. At 39 weeks midwife began sweeps. After two sweeps baby came bang on 40 weeks.
Always felt fear led my decision to agree to sweeps etc.

weeonion Tue 06-May-14 22:07:05

I am so glad i found this thread. i am with you on confusion!

I am 42 with DC2, will be 43 by EDD. was told at booking in that I will be induced on EDD. That date has changed at 12 week scan with them putting me around 10 days earlier than i thought ( it would mean i conceived before LMP). I feel like this put extra pressure on as they will be planning to induce at a date earlier than i would otherwise have been allowed to go to.

I am going for a homebirth which again - raised a few eyebrows (aminly due to the very low numbers in my area) but havent met my homebirth team as yet. We shall see! I am having a doula this time round so i hope she can help DP and I approach this all positively.

I will be watching this thread with interest and will share whatever i am told!

TheTertiumSquid Tue 06-May-14 22:28:09

daffy I think you mean BRAIN.
what are the Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, does it have to be done Immediately, what happens if we do Nothing?

Sparkley4 Thu 08-May-14 11:25:58

I am 39 and pregnant with my first, due 2 months before my 40th & can I just say how nice it is so see other ladies expecting children in their 40's too. My midwife has been lovely to me all the way through and my age hasn't been mentioned once! Good luck to you all xx

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 08-May-14 11:37:29

I had an induction at term for age 4 weeks ago. Like you had a low risk pregnancy. DC and I were healthy throughout. I am 40.

The induction was never forced on me, simply offered - I made them book the appointment at 34 weeks. The reasons being:

- over 40 mothers have higher risk of stillbirth and placental failure and induction is shown to reduce this
- I have had a previous vaginal delivery which I understand reduces the risk of instrumental or c section during induction
- I went overdue with DC1 by 11 days and had a placental abruption - so I did not want to risk it again
- I am a control freak and liked having an end date, I do not want to spend precious maternity leave sitting around waiting smile

I think it's completely your choice but not all risks are equal.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 08-May-14 11:49:58

AWomb the MW who performed my induction told me that she considered 50+ to be an older mother these days! That may reflect the demographic of our area but it was gratifying to hear.

Nobody made me feel like an "older mother" throughout my pregnancy - quite the opposite. The MW who delivered the baby was asking when I was going to have no 3 hmm and I was flattered to see HCPs do a double take at my face when told I was being induced "due to maternal age" grin - I'm sure they do that to everyone though!

That there are additional risks at 40+ doesn't mean you are old - it just means some other considerations.

weeonion Thu 08-May-14 16:56:22

I am terrified at the thought of induction and really really do not want one - especially not just because of my age. All the women I know who have had one did not have the best experience and / or ended up with additional interventions. I know that is not representative but is a guiding factor.

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