Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Soroka University Medical Centre, examined complications of pregnancies in women over 50 and determined that it is just as safe to give birth after age 50 as age 40 without endangering the mother or the baby.

The researchers examined the complications of pregnancies among women over the age of 50 and the question of whether women who give birth at these ages are at increased risk for both themselves and the fetus compared with younger mothers.

The team included: Dr. Eyal Sheiner, director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Soroka and vice dean for student affairs at BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences (FOHS); Dr. Gali Priante and Dr. Erez Halevy of Soroka and the BGU FOHS, and Dr. Tamar Wainstock, of BGU’s School of Public Health in FOHS.

The researchers found that thanks to medical and technological advancements—including extracellular fertilization and egg donation—the age at which a woman can give birth has gradually increased.

“It turns out that 50 is the new 40 when it comes to childbirth,” according to Dr. Sheiner. “There is no doubt that medical teams will need to handle increasing numbers of birth for women over age 50.”

The study included 242,771 deliveries at Soroka, of which 234,824 (96.7 percent) occurred in women younger than 40. The rest occurred in women from age 40 to 50 and older. It focused mainly on whether women found themselves during pregnancy and childbirth with complications such as premature births, gestational diabetes, hypertension, and cesarean sections. The study also examined if the newborn suffered from poor physical condition, mortality or distress during labor.

The researchers concluded that all complications were higher among women over 40 who gave birth to children compared with those who gave birth below that age. Remarkably, there was no escalation of complications in women over the age of 50, compared with women who gave birth between the ages of 40 and 50. Dr. Sheiner still advises to treat the pregnancies of women over the age of 40 as high-risk, and even more so, the pregnancies of women over 50. Special emphasis should be placed on tracking fasting glucose and pregnant blood pressure for early detection of complications.

According to Dr Sheiner, pregnancies of women over the age of 40 should still be considered “high risk”. And that’s even more the case for those over 50. “But it turns out that the risk is not much higher as the woman gets older,” he said.

Hillary Rorison, Midwifery Advisor at the Australian College of Midwives, notes that it’s important women don’t interpret this research as saying that having a baby after 50 is without risk.

“It’s unwise to say no there’s no health consequences,” she says, adding that what the research actually shows is that the risk of complications for women over 50 is the same as complications for mums 40 and over.

“It falls within that same risk category, “Mrs Rorison says, adding that we know there’s an increased risk for women in this group.

Share your comments below


  • I don’t think I’d be able to handle having kids that late. I’m already knackered as it is!

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  • I’m sure I read recently again the dangers around falling pregnant in your 40’s. It’s always changing. Who really knows what is right?

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  • They come up with something new every day. Who can keep up.

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  • Wow no thanks lol was 37 and 41 with my two……but if that’s all true then its gr8 for those of us that don’t meet someone till we are older.

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  • People are living longer so it makes sense that having babies for mums can stretch out.
    It would take thought though. The individual mums health and well-being. They’ll be seventy when child is 2o if had at 50. So that is still older.
    But really if dr gives clear to have a baby then love care and support wins really as it does for all mums.

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  • thankfully most of these later term mothers are a lot fitter than the younger mothers so have the energy to chase after their kids

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  • Wow! That’s amazing! I would be a little concerned though. When would you be able to enjoy being a grandma if yourre a mother to a little one? I just think there should be a time when you stop having your own children & enjoy your grandchildren & other things in life. Children are hard work! Wouldn’t you welcome the break at 50?!


    • I had my own kids after I was 40 and when i was 50 we got a wee baby with Down Syndrome in our care. She is 5yrs now and I’m 55yr. Of course I think sometimes that when she is 30, I’ll be 80yrs old and i won’t be around to see her growing old. Best what I can do is make sure she’s as independent as possible and have help for her in place. After we took our youngest up in our family, we added her 3 yr older sister half a year after that, who is now 9yrs old. We have a lot of problems with her and life comes with challenges. But these kids keep me young and on my toes and besides challenges to give us lots of blessings. I wouldn’t want to change it for a bit.

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  • Yes, but then you’ve got to raise them – and that’s harder when you’re older.

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  • I couldn’t imagine having a baby at 50. I’m only 39 and exhausted!…lol


    • Me too! Im almost 38 with a 2 year old and it’s a struggle some days haha

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  • How amazing that we can safely have kids that old

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  • It’s tiring though. I’m tired now from kids and I’m not near 50!

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  • It might be more possible now, but as a 51 yo, I don’t think I’ll be testing the theory. Quite happy to leave the baby making to the kids so I can enjoy grandma duties

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  • that’s crazy! im feeling old at 38 lol.


    • Hhaha I am the same!! Couldn’t imagine doing all this over when I ‘m 50!!!

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  • An interesting read. I had my last child at 40 and that was my easiest pregnancy and birth!

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  • interesting read

    Reply

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