THE NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
ISSN: 0331-4111 e-ISSN: 2736-075X
Volume 18, No. 1, June 2020
Women of Advanced Reproductive Age and Maternal Health Outcomes: A Review of the Literature
Olabusoye Oguntola-Laguda, Onipede Wusu and Oluranti Samuel
Department of Sociology, Lagos State University, Ojo, Nigeria
Women of advanced reproductive age (ARA) constitute a growing proportion globally, as more women delay entry into motherhood, in a bid to accommodate their educational and career goals. Social, economic and technological realities propel women to postpone childbearing to a later and more convenient age. What are the maternal outcomes of such delays? This paper reviewed studies that have examined the association between advanced reproductive age and maternal health outcomes. It also attempts to develop a conceptual framework regarding relationship between ARA and maternal outcomes. The Google Scholar search engine was used to search for published studies on the subject in the last ten years. A total of 40 studies were sampled, of which the majority were retrospective studies, using secondary data, in particular health institutes reports. Only 17% of the studies was conducted in Nigeria, and none by social scientists. Ninety percent (90%) of the studies reviewed, established that advanced reproductive age predisposes women to adverse reproductive events. Some of the maternal, and per-natal outcomes include; spontaneous abortion, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, gestational diabetes, antepartum hemorrhage, postpartum hemorrhage, intrauterine growth restriction, obstructed labour, caesarean delivery, placenta abruption and, congenital abnormalities. Others are, – low birth weight, fetal distress, mal-presentation, perinatal lacerations, preterm births, stillbirth, early neonatal death, perinatal and maternal mortality. The study recommends the needs for sociological studies to compliment the discourse on ARA and the maternal health outcomes from the social angle.
Keywords: Reproductive age women, advanced reproductive age, maternal health outcomes, adverse health outcomes