Many women are now deciding to start a family later in life. Over the last decade there has been a significant increase in women over 35 and 40 conceiving and becoming first time mothers.
There are risks associated in pregnancy and birth with older mothers; high blood pressure, diabetes, instrumental delivery to name a few. But should any problems arise an older woman will be monitored by her obstetric team to ensure a positive outcome for mother and baby.
In the West we are very lucky in that we have the knowledge, technology and expertise to gift older mums a safe pregnancy and secure sanctuary, whether in the comfort of our home or hospital maternity unit, to birth a much wanted child.
I had my first baby aged 39.
Apart from a nasty bout of antenatal depression my pregnancy was very straightforward and I looked forward to birthing the new arrival at home.
Of course this didn’t happen.
I had to be induced at hospital. Then over a twenty hour period my cervix only dilated to a very sluggish 2 cms. My baby was lying back to back which meant a painful labour. I was augmented to syntocinon and had an epidural.
The contractions were powerful.
My baby’s heartbeat wavered and fell. The doctors rushed in. Oxygen was administered. Her heartbeat rose. My baby’s heartbeat wavered and fell again. The doctors returned. More oxygen. Again her heartbeat returned to normal.
My baby’s heartbeat fell for a third time but this time remained at a low ebb. So I was rushed into theatre for an emergency cesarean.
My baby arrived blue and scarily still but was resuscitated within minutes.
The birth was traumatic but because of the care and presence of the obstetric team my precious newborn was delivered safe and alive. My daughter could look forward to warm shelter, milk, immunisations against common disease and years of life, learning and possibility.
My daughter’s birth is something I took for granted. I assumed she would be born safely no matter the direction labour took. And indeed this is how it has turned out. I am very grateful.
However this is not the case in Bangladesh.
Every hour of every day eleven newborn babies die. That’s about one every six minutes.
If your baby is one of the lucky ones and survives he or she may still contract a disease like diarrhoea and then perish.
1 in 19 children do not live to see their fifth birthday because access to basic services such as health care are very limited.
Save The Children are running the Build It For Babies campaign to raise money to help drastically improve conditions for mums and babies in Bangladesh.
Blogging is a very powerful tool and if you would like to get involved and create awareness for this important campaign then have a look at Blog It For Babies.
If you want to make a donation of £1 to the Blog It For Babies Just Giving Fund, then text XVRL71 £1 to 70070. It will only take a minute and 100% of the proceeds will go to Save The Children. You can of course donate more if you wish. Just remember to include the amount in the text.
Lets make the lives of babies and children in Bangladesh worthwhile.