Preterm, or premature, labor occurs after week 20 of pregnancy (it's considered a miscarriage before that) and before week 37. Here’s why premature labor happens — and what you can do to help prevent it. Smoking Alcohol and drug use Short interval between pregnancies Uterine and vaginal infections Pregnancy complications Structural anomalies of the uterus and/or cervix Gum infections Stress levels Occupational factors Maternal age A previous preterm birth If you were preterm yourself However we are going to explain how one can avoid preterm labor. Aim for 18 months between pregnancies. Your rate of preterm labor drops significantly if you wait at least a year — and optimally 18 months —between when you last gave birth and when you conceive again. See your doctor. Getting early and regular prenatal care can help your doctor pinpoint and help you treat any risk factors for preterm labor and ensure you have the healthiest pregnancy possible. Control what you can. Smoking, drinking, using drugs not prescribed by your doctor or having untreated diabetes can all lead to preterm labor. Eliminate any that apply to you. Eat well. Getting all the nutrients your body needs from a healthy, balanced diet not only results in a healthier baby but also one that arrives at the right time. Adequate intake of certain omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon, DHA eggs, walnuts and flax seed) has been shown to reduce preterm labor (and boosts your baby's brain development). Other studies have shown that vitamin C (citrus, berries, bell peppers) and calcium (milk and other dairy products or fortified juices) can also be helpful in preventing preterm labor. Eat often. Research suggests that it's not enough to ship your baby all the right nutrients — you should also make those shipments as regular as possible. Pregnant women who eat at least five times a day (three meals and two snacks, or five smaller meals, for instance) are less likely to deliver prematurely. Drink up. Drinking enough water (more if you're exercising or it's very hot) will keep you hydrated. And staying hydrated increases your odds of keeping baby put, since dehydration can lead to premature contractions. Be good to your gums. Preventative dental care is one of your first (and best, and easiest) lines of defense in preventing preterm labor, since it can be triggered by gum disease. So brush, floss and visit your dentist at least once during your pregnancy — not just for your regular cleaning, but also to take care of any little problems before they become big ones. Go when you gotta go. Holding in your urine, besides being uncomfortable, can inflame your bladder — which in turn could irritate your uterus and set off contractions. Not going when you gotta go could also lead to a urinary tract infection, another cause of preterm contractions. So make a habit of peeing when you've got the urge to go. Treat it. If you're considered high-risk because you have BV, ask your practitioner if an oral antibiotic is right for you. Some studies show that symptomatic women with BV who are treated with antibiotics have a reduced risk of preterm delivery. Other studies, though, have disputed those findings, saying that there is no reduction in the rate of premature delivery even if the infection (both BV and other STDs) is treated. Your practitioner will be able to guide you. So, we hope we have enlightened you why preterm labour happens, and how one can prevent it. Happy pregnancy!
Effective tips to prevent preterm labor
Written By MyloEditor696 Views
Along with the joy of pregnancy, a first-time mother also experiences anxiety and fear about labor and delivery. She wants her pregnancy to be smooth and uneventful. She is scared that something might go wrong during her pregnancy and her baby might be harmed. At times, a mother is unable to carry her baby for the entire nine months and has a delivery before the full term. A baby who gets delivered before the 37th week is termed as a preterm baby.
A preterm baby may or may not be completely developed and are at a high risk of various diseases and infections. Although the causes of preterm labor are not exactly known, experts point to a number of factors can trigger preterm labor-
- Smoking, alcohol and drug use:
- Short interval between pregnancies
- Uterine and vaginal infections
- Pregnancy complications
- Structural anomalies of the uterus and/or cervix
- Gum infections
- Stress levels
- Occupational factors
- Carrying multiples
- Maternal age
- A previous preterm birth
- If you were preterm yourself
Although, many of the above factors are beyond a mother’s control, there are still a few precautionary measures that can be taken to prevent preterm labor –
- Eat healthy – A healthy diet goes a long way in ensuring that you have a healthy baby. Consume foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, calcium and vitamin C, in order to provide your growing baby all the essential nutrients and build his/her immune system.
- Avoid alcohol – Consuming alcohol during pregnancy has often been linked to preterm labor so quit drinking for the sake of your baby. Alcohol may also harm your baby’s growth adversely.
- Say no to smoking – Mothers who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to go into preterm labor and their babies are more likely to have low birth weight. Stop smoking immediately to ensure the well-being of your baby.
- Exercise and yoga – Staying active, exercising regularly and practicing prenatal yoga not only ensures a smooth delivery but also helps to improve the chances of carrying your baby full term.
- Take prenatal vitamins – Vitamin deficiency is one of the main factors responsible for preterm labor. Make sure that you take all your prenatal vitamins timely.
- Keep an eye on your weight – Maintain a healthy weight as prescribed by your doctor. Adding too many kilos can lead to gestational diabetes and this might lead to early labor. Being underweight may also be a cause of preterm labor.
- Stay hydrated – Drink enough water to keep your body hydrated, simple it helps to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
- Maintain adequate gap between two pregnancies- If you’re planning another baby, ensure that you conceive after a minimum of 18 months after your first baby is born. If the mother’s body is weak, the chances of a preterm labor are higher.
- Do not hold on to urine – Urinate whenever you have the urge to. Holding on to urine can not only lead to urinary tract infections but also put unnecessary pressure on the bladder and lead to preterm labor.
- Get adequate rest – Getting adequate rest is of utmost importance in ensuring that you have an uneventful pregnancy and are able to carry your baby to the full term.
- Maintain good oral health – This might sound surprizing but good oral health goes a long way in ensuring that you carry your baby to the full term.
- Keep flu at bay – Research has shown that women who catch a flu often are more likely to go into preterm labor. Make sure that you are vaccinated against the flu and are getting enough rest even if you get it.