Is There a Relation Between Maternal Age and Preferred Mode of Delivery?

Ingrid Kowalcek, Franzisk Hainer


Background: The aim of this study is investigate how pregnant women feel about caesarean section and natural birth and whether a relation between maternal ages and preferred mode of delivery exists.

Methods: The consecutive sampling consisted of 534 pregnant women presenting themselves for prenatal diagnosis at the Clinic of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the University Hospital Schleswig Holstein, Campus Lueck (Germany). The pregnant women marke their wishes in a questionnaire on birth expectations in a five point Likert scale in a standardized questionnaire. Socio-demographic data were collected separately. Besides the descriptive statistics, an inferential (t-test) statistics method was implemented to assess the age groups, using SPSS 15.0. The level of significance was 5 %.

Results: Women favour a natural birth and place high importance on the criteria physiology, birth experience and personal support. Characteristics of the caesarean section viewed negatively include surgery and pain. Pregnant women of advanced age (>= 35 years) tend to view caesarean section slightly more positive but there is insufficient evidence to support that their decisions diverge from younger womens views.

Conclusion: The rise in caesarean section rates cannot be attributed to the patients wishes. Although special risks were found in various studies for mothers of 35 years or older, they still prefer to give birth naturally. In terms of patient autonomy, obstetricians should respect womens choice for vaginal delivery, and avoid medical intervention if clinically possible.



Mode of delivery; Vaginal delivery; Caesarean section; Maternal age 

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Journal of Clinical Gynecology & Obstetrics, quarterly, ISSN 1927-1271 (print), 1927-128X (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
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