Woman, 62, becomes mother for second time

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Mar 08, 2018 - Page 1

A 62-year-old woman last month gave birth to a son, coincidentally on the 36th birthday of her daughter, Taipei Chang Gung Memorial Hospital said yesterday.

The woman, surnamed Wu (吳), on Feb. 25 gave birth to a boy weighing 2.93kg after a 66-minute labor.

It is rare for a woman of advanced maternal age to give birth naturally instead of having a Caesarean, the hospital said.

“I did not think age was big problem from the beginning and I would be willing to do anything to achieve my goal,” Wu said yesterday as she held her son at the hospital’s Taipei branch.

She said she and her husband had always wanted a second child, but were unable to conceive.

The idea resurfaced after she retired and they conceived through in vitro fertilization, she added.

Obstetrician Steven Shaw (蕭勝文), who treated Wu after she was referred to the hospital, said women of advanced maternal age are at increased risk of complications in pregnancy, including gestational diabetes mellitus, placenta previa and chromosomal abnormality in the fetus.

Wu was diagnosed with gestational hypertension and gestational diabetes mellitus in her 29th week of pregnancy and placenta previa, which occurs when the placenta covers the cervix during the last months of pregnancy and can cause severe bleeding before or during labor, Shaw said.

However, the placenta had moved by Wu’s final prenatal visit at 38 weeks, he added.

The average age of pregnancy is between 20 and 45 years old, and women who conceive at 34 years or older are considered to be of advanced maternal age, Shaw said.

Hospital data shows that the average age of first-time mothers in Taiwan has increased from 28 to 32.6 years in the past 28 years, and childbirth by women of advanced maternal age has also increased from 11 percent to 40 percent.

Wu and the baby are both healthy, Shaw said.

“We do not encourage women at extremely advanced maternal age to conceive, because there are likely to be many clinical difficulties and the success rate is basically unknown as successful cases are very rare,” he said.