Narrator: This is Science Today. Although the majority of first-time mothers over forty have healthy babies, they're twice as likely to have Caesarean sections and experience more complications than first-time mothers in their twenties. Dr. William Gilbert of the University of California, Davis, who led the study, says these findings will support more clear-cut expectations.
Gilbert: So that women over forty having their first baby would expect that they're probably going to have some kind of intervention. The outcomes are good, however knowing about that intervention is probably important.
Narrator: The higher rates of complications in older women included hypertension, gestational diabetes, and early labor.
Gilbert: This information hopefully will allow us to counsel women who come in either preconceptually or early in their pregnancies on the potential risks and pregnancy outcomes. Despite this increased risk of poor pregnancy outcome, the vast majority of patients do extremely well and deliver vaginally with healthy mother and healthy baby.
Narrator: Gilbert says women giving birth over forty make up about two percent of the population and will probably double in ten years. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.