In humans, the reproductive age remains one of the most critical for the female. This age (20-25 years)is seen as the optimal childbearing age range, with age 35considered the threshold for a complications-free pregnancy.With an increase in the mean maternal age at childbirth, the impact of maternal age on pregnancy outcome has become increasingly important. This retrospective study was embarked upon to investigate the impact of mode of delivery, birth weight and possible complications on mother and fetus.
Materials and Methods:
The data of 3501 women seen at a federal tertiary health institution over a7 years period(2008 – 2014) was collated and analyzed under different age brackets. Using linear regression model to analyse the causal-effect relationship between the variables,the women were grouped into 18-25 years (n=722); 26-33 years (n=1994); 34-41 years (n=750); 42-49 years (n=35).
From the study, Mean maternal age was observed to be 29.74; with average duration of pregnancy being 38.04 weeks. Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery was most common in the 18- 25years; least in the 42-49 years group which suggested a positive correlation between age and caesarean section. With PPMCC/R) of -0.016 and a p-0.368, there was a weak negative correlation between age and duration of Labor; thus not statistically significant. Gestational diabetes was seen more in the 26-34 and 35-41 age brackets. Birth weight varied across age brackets; LBW was highest and NBW least in the 42-49 group bracket. Macrosomic babies were highest in the 34-41 years, least in the 18-25 years and absent in the 42-49 years group. Conclusion:
Study therefore established a weak negative correlation between maternal age and duration of Labor
Key words:
Maternal age, pregnancy, complications, outcome