Mercy's Dr. Terry Hoffman, OB/GYN, Discusses Study Linking Mom's Age To Baby's Birthweight

May 2, 2011
Mercy?s Dr. Terry Hoffman, OB/GYN

Mercy's Dr. Terry Hoffman, OB/GYN

A new study by Dutch researchers says that the older a mother is when she becomes pregnant, the greater the chance is that she will have a large baby.

Amy Schneider, 40, and her husband, Joel, just had their first child.

"The baby's up all night, and he sleeps all day. He's a little turned around," she said.

According to Mercy’s Dr. Terry Hoffman, OB/GYN, at age 40, Schneider was already a high-risk pregnancy, including when it came to having a big baby.

"Younger women ages 20 to 24 have smaller babies, and women that are 35 and older tend to have larger babies," she said.

"They take these weekly measurements. At 36 weeks, they said he was 7 or 8 pounds, and at that moment I thought, 'Big baby!" Schneider said.

The bigger the baby, the less likely the mother is to deliver vaginally.

"We talked about whether we should induce. The answer to that is no. Should we schedule a C-section? The answer to that is no, because the fact is, laboring is better, even if you do end up having a C-section," Dr. Hoffman said. "Laboring thins the lower uterine segment. There's less blood loss, and the baby's lungs are more mature. So, he's less likely to end up in the NICU."

Schneider went through labor but did have a C-section and a healthy 9-pound 6-ounce baby boy.

"Beside being a little sleepless, I do feel a little bit better and am getting around better. The sleeplessness may last a while, probably," the new mother said.

Dr. Hoffman stressed the point that a big baby is not a reason to induce labor.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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