Miscarriage Risk at Thirty Eight?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I just found out that I'm pregnant with my 5th child. My oldest will be 20 and my youngest just turned 10. Surprise, right.

I had morning sickness when I was pregnant with my sons (3) lasted 9 months, all day everyday. With my daughter I felt ill and was crabby but not sick very often or for very long. Between my 3rd and 4th child I became pregnant. I didn't have any morning sickness and no real symptoms of pregnancy other than a missed period and positive test. I miscarried at 7 weeks. No D & C was necessary and I conceived my 4th child shortly after.

My concern now is that I'm around 6 weeks pregnant and haven't been sick. I do have other symptoms, missed period, positive test, extremely tired, sore, swollen breasts, some nausea but not sick. Am I being overly concerned?

Every other pregnancy of mine that went to term came with being very ill. The only time I wasn't sick was when I miscarried. Also, I am now 38 and will be 39 when this baby is born. How much higher is my risk for miscarriage?

ANSWER

Unfortunately, your risk is higher because of your age, but there is no way to tell how this particular baby will do.

I am so sorry for your previous loss, and we will love this baby no matter how long it lives, right?

Blessings, and good luck!

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

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Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.