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Being induced due to maternal age?(43 Posts)
Am 26 weeks today and only last week a midwife noticed I am 37 years old and therefore should be under consultant care. I am classified low risk and until now had no issues identified, my appointment was made with consultant purely due to being over 34.
I’ve seen the Dr today, very lovely lady and had a full scan, explained perfectly and reassured there are no causes for concern but again due to age I’ll have a couple of extra growth scans and see Dr back in her clinic in July to discuss further (I asked to be discharged if no problems identified bc I want a Home birth).
Consultant not massively open to the home birth idea I could tell but that doesn’t surprise me, however one thing she did say was that they like to induce at 39 weeks for older mums.
Again, this is purely for age. I do not want to be induced for no reason other than being a slightly older mum. I want to be able to birth naturally and use the pool and be at home if possible - if not at home then at least free to move around the delivery room and not consigned to the bed for possible days until the induction kicks in. Of course if an induction was needed after the 40/41 week mark or for any health reason I’d be fine with it. But age alone?
I’m waffling on but basically my question is - has anyone been in same situation? Low risk but consultant led for age and either accepted or denied an induction?
I have a lot of time to think about it but I need experiences from women as well as the academic evidence (which actually looks pretty unfounded) to know how I really feel about it.
Sorry for long post, any experiences welcome!!!
I had ds at 37 and being induced was never mentioned at all. I had lots of other dc too.
I've never heard of being consultant led over 34-I was 34 with my last baby and will be 36 with this and no one has ever mentioned consultant or induction.
I have always had a consultant due to blood group ..
They didn’t mention it to me until last week - no one seemed to be bothered for the first 6 months!
Perhaps it’s just the trust where I am and not a total recommendation. I’d never heard of it before either!
I had my first at 35 and wasn’t under the consultant. At 37 with my second I was, but that was due to fetal anaemia. Prior to the discovery of that I was classed as low risk and just with the midwife.
I've never heard that before. I had my first child at 38 and didn't see a consultant. I remember asking about whether I'd be allowed to go to the local midwife-led birth Centre as I was an older mum and they said my age was no problem.
I had DD at 42, and although I was initially under consultant care, none of the consultants could find any reasons for concern.
When I went into labour, it kicked off naturally but my body didn't seem to know what to do. I had the option to be induced which I originally declined, but reconsidered after 12 hours of nothing much happening.
I was 37 when I got pregnant with DS and 38 when he was born. I asked my midwife about the risks of being an "older mother" and she just about fell off her chair. Where we are she said I wasn't old at all and they only check more if you are aged 40+. Seems very odd to me.
Older mothers are over 40 in the area I live. I went to 42 weeks and the community midwives were pressuring for induction (there was no reason) but the hospital were happy to leave me ( in fact they wouldn’t have done it even if I’d wanted it)
I was 36 when I had ds
So far it seems my trust are being overly cautious then! I mean it was lovely to get the detailed scan today, saw so much more than any other scan and she explained everything beautifully. My baby is just so wonderful already! Totally in awe of this little person on the screen! So in that way I don’t mind being consultant led, but I’ll have to do my research and speak openly to both consultant and midwife then. Somewhat annoying at this stage!
Seems odd to me. Plenty of women give birth at that age without needing to be induced.
I had no 3 under midwife care only at 38. No extra scans, baby was over by 8 days, had a stetch n sweep, delivered at home.
I had exactly the same but I was 40 and 42! As long as you are low risk they can’t make you do something you don’t want. I was advised by a private midwife to offer to change plans if I moved from low risk but whilst I was I wanted a home birth. I had my home birth at full term and it was amazing....at 42!
Stick to what you feel is right
DD was due 4 days before my 37th birthday. I wasn't consultant led, like pp have said midwife said in my area your weren't considered old until well over 40!
Read the NICE guidelines on induction, and criteria for consultant care and make up your own mind. I certainly wouldn't be having an induction before my due date if I was you, unless they can give a very good and specific reason.
Loving all the positive experiences! Consultant wasn’t pushy at all, she sort of dropped in the induction comment in conversation.
I will ride out the next 2 scans and assuming he progresses ok and I’m fine then I’ll be asking to be discharged.
Thanks for sharing
I had my daughter at 43 (no problems in pregnancy at all) and felt sometimes like I was being treated like an unexploded bomb! I had a great community midwife though who was totally with me and agreed that there was no reason to induce me unless I got to 42 weeks. Baby arrived 10 days late but all was fine, no induction. I did get referred to a consultant for age (rule in my area is over 40) and he was awful so I refused to go back unless there was some worrying change in my health. I wasn't allowed to give birth at local midwifery led unit, but I was ok with that.
I had dc at 42 and was induced for maternal age at 39 weeks, which then ended in a section. (I went private) Which is what I'd been hoping for all along as I was afraid of vaginal birth. Luckily everything went well.
Different situation though!
I had two babies in my forties (not consultant led for either and was approved for home birth for the second one) and found the RCOG Scientific Impact paper interesting and useful to read when making this decision. You can download it here: www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/sip34/. It's aimed at doctors really but is fairly accessible and helped me decide what to do.
In my case I decided I'd wait it out and have regular scans with the baby I had when I was only just forty, which is when my area will start to offer the early induction, however he came a few days early. I'd planned to accept the induction with the next one two years later but had already had a failed induction due to slight but regular unexplained bleeding by then and was kept in hospital being monitored until he was born, also a few days early.
I was about to say I never had to be under the consultant because of my age with my youngest but I was still 34 when I had him (the day before my 35th birthday!).
My age was never mentioned once. I was under the consultant for a number of other reasons (manly complications in first pregnancy) but my age was never discussed.
I had dc1 at 37. He cane spontaneously at 36+5, but needed an emcs (footling breach).
3 years later, I was under consultant care anyway because of the emcs. Consultant told me they’d induce me on x date (my birthday!) and I pointed out that DS had been 3 weeks early. They said “all mothers over 40 need inducing”. Dd came spontaneously at 39+0. It was a crash cs under ga, but labour started spontaneously. This was 6 years ago.
I think some hospitals have their protocols, and have great difficulty seeing beyond them.
Maybe it’s regional. In my region consultant care kicks in at 40.. I had dc 1 at 39 - no consultant care. Then dc2 at 40 - consultant care.
I was also advised to be induced for DC2. I pushed it back and agreed to sweeps from just before 40 weeks and induction at 41, but it’s a very personal decision. Research stillborn rate then you can make a more informed decision.
I'm nearly 37 and they want me to get as close to 40 weeks as I can for c section
My area and two neighbouring areas you have to be 40+ or have other risk factors e.g. BMI over 30, medical conditions such as diabetes, problems with previous birth, 10 years between pregnancies, to be put under consultant care.
Even then if you are over 40, if you have no medical conditions, have a BMI under 30 and had a previous easy birth in the past 5 years it's more to keep an eye on you then to intervene.
Oh and you can refuse to be induced at 39 and 40 weeks though they will blackmail you. However if you do your own research you will see it's generally not a good idea to go over that.
The UK has had unacceptably high rates of stillbirth, more than comparable populations and comparable health systems. There has recently been much work done on addressing this issue and new practices and guidelines are being developed. They know that one of the risk factors for stillbirth is being an older mother. That is if you have women with otherwise identical histories and profiles and pregnancies, the babies of older mothers are more likely to be still born than the babies of younger mothers. There is no way though to know which of the "older" babies will be affected and which will be perfectly fine. But we do know that as a group, their risk level is greater. So one recommendation to deal with that risk for that group of babies is to induce at term. Once the baby is term, there are no additional health benefits or developmental stages that are improved by remaining in the womb, and the risks of placenta failure and other risks increase. And in general, for this group of babies, the risks of induction at term are less than the risks of watchful waiting. So while of course it's true that the recommendation is based in your age, it's not just because somebody somewhere thinks old = bad. It's because evidence shows better outcomes for the induced babies and thier mothers, than the non-induced. Tools like additional scans in later pregnancy also help them refine your personal risk profile and allow them tailor a recommendation to you. But it is still a generalised recommendation, based on the best available evidence, not a crystal ball.
Of course it's entirely up to you to consent or not, but it is important you understand fully. Many of the measures to tackle the stillbirth rate are very recent so posters whose pregnancies were even just a couple of years ago may have had different treatment.
While I know it is disconcerting and disappointing to feel like you are shifting course mid-stream, I would encourage you to talk through any doubts or questions very seriously with your doctor. Then you will have the best information for you, and can make an informed choice.
For what it's worth, "being consigned to bed for days until the induction kicks in" doesn't at all correspond with my own experiences of induction, but of corse everyone is an individual and there are a variety of responses to and experiences of induction.
Best wishes. It's good that they are monitoring you closely. How you choose to use that information from extra monitoring is entirely up to you but please ask your medical team all your questions and make sure you fully understand so you can make an informed choice.
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