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Brussels women wait longer to become pregnant

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The average age of mothers has risen between 2010 and 2019 from 30.9 to 32.1 years for women giving birth in Brussels, the Centre for Perinatal Epidemiology (CEpiP) said on Wednesday.

The risks of complications, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, pre-term delivery and stillbirths, can increase with age, CEpiP pointed out.

The centre noted that four out of ten pregnant women are overweight or even obese in early pregnancy, an increase compared to 2010, when 32.7% of expecting mothers were obese.

The number of diabetic expecting mothers is also rising, with the proportion going from 5.9% in 2010 to 15.3% in 2020 in Brussels, according to CEpiP.

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Four out of ten women did not spontaneously go into labour in 2019. Almost one in three women were induced and one in ten went underwent a planned caesarian.

The proportion of induced births has been increasing in Brussels for the past two years. The proportion of deliveries by caesarean section or with surgical equipment has been stable for more than seven years.

The use of episiotomies declined from 36.1% to 17.8%.

The CEpiP drew up its report on the basis of official data from birth certificates.

The average age for women in Wallonia increased from 29.4 to 30.5 years old, CEpiP said, and the average age for Flemish women has increased to 29.1, Het Laatste Nieuws reports based on figures from Statistiek Vlaanderen.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times