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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

50 & Pregnant

Published May 31, 2012 2:42 PM by Robin Hocevar

50 & Pregnant

It sounds like a Lifetime movie, but extreme middle age births are exploding. According to the most recent CDC statistics, 8,000 babies were born to women 45 and older. That's double the number since just 1997. Of these, an alarming 541were born to women age 50 and older, a 375 percent increase in the same time period.

In adoption, the trend is even more pronounced with 25 percent of adopted children living in families parented by someone older than 45.

Much of this is due to advances in reproductive technology. On a cultural level, "40+ and Fabulous" Hollywood moms garner a lot of attention. Marcia Cross, Susan Sarandon, Marcia Gay Harden, Geena Davis, Holly Hunter, and Cheryl Tiegs all had babies well into their mid-40s. (A then 52-year old Tiegs used a surrogate for her second child.)

Personally, the combination of grey hair and teething would make me run to the pharmacy counter for some birth control.  Personal feelings aside, the odds are stacked against a successful pregnancy in middle age or beyond with risk factors like pre-term labor, gestational diabetes, hypertension, and that's just on the mother's part. Statistically, babies born to older parents face higher likelihood of autism, developmental delays, neurological problems, or heart and lung issues.

Despite the steep odds, many babies born to older parents are carried to term and continue to have perfectly normal childhoods. Many of you working in OB offices probably find yourself in a similar "who am I to judge?" conundrum. We'd love any advice you can offer on counseling an increasingly older population of parents.


Plenty of nurses treval.  You need to graduate and work for a couple of years in a hospital to get experience.  Once you are fully trained and competent you can work for agencies that place you in jobs all over the country.  Usually the contract is for 13 weeks and you get furnished housing, car (not always), utilities, and a competitive salary.  Some agencies offer health insurance and vacation time after you've completed a certain amount of contracts.  Often you have the option to extend your contract with the hospital.  This is up to you and the hospital if you want to stay.  In my experience some hospitals are terrible and some are really great, you never really know if you're going to fit in until you actually start.  I would meet people but it can be very lonely because you're only there a short time and it's hard to make friends.  On a NJ assignment a girl took me to NYC for 4 days and we saw all the sights.  She was from there and knew where to go where to eat and where to stay, it was a lot of fun.  I don't talk to anybody from past assignments anymore, except for the girl who took me to NY.  I got to see the country and live in places like a condo on the beach.  The treval community is pretty small and some hospitals use trevalers over and over so you get to know other trevalers that way.  I am still friends with a trevaler I met on an assignment, she had worked in several places and knew about the different agencies and which hospitals to avoid.  It's good to make connections like that, I also worked with this one guy in Delaware and then 2 years later ended up on the same assignment in NJ.  It's good to see familiar faces.  I also learned how different hospitals cared for patients very differently.  For instance, I would never be a patient in Lake Charles, Louisiana because it's very backwards and uses the most outdated technology but I would be a patient in Newark, Delaware because the hospital was cutting edge.Good luck, I hope nursing school works out for you, one piece of advice get your RN don't settle for an LPN.

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