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C-sections more prone in over-40s
- research

OLDER mothers are more likely to need emergency help when delivering their babies, new research suggests.

Only 7pc of mothers aged 20 to 24 need an emergency Caesarean section compared with 22pc of those over 40.

And the proportion who need "operative vaginal deliveries" such as the use of forceps or a vacuum device increases from 13pc among younger mothers to 24pc of those aged over 40.

The new study, published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, examined 170,000 low-risk first-time mothers in Norway.

Co-author Lina Herstad, from the Norwegian Resource Centre for Women's Health, said: "Previous research around advanced maternal age has mainly focused on high-risk pregnancies, but most women of advanced maternal age are healthy, of higher socioeconomic status and are low-risk.


"Our results show the proportion of operative deliveries increased substantially with maternal age in a low-risk, first-time mother cohort.

"These findings are helpful for both healthcare professionals and women of advanced maternal age in decisions regarding the mode of delivery."

Cathy Warwick of the Royal College of Midwives said: "We know women over 40 have an increased risk of complications during pregnancy and it is important that more research is done into the needs of this group of women."