November is National Prematurity Awareness Month — let’s celebrate taking action. We’ve gathered some commonly known ways in which expectant mothers can avoid a premature birth event. As a women’s healthcare provider, we are proud to be a resource of health, wellness, and support.
Premature or preterm birth is often an unplanned event in a woman’s pregnancy. In 2018, it was recorded that about 1 in 10 babies are born preterm, or before completing the standard 37 to 40 weeks of pregnancy. Depending on the causes of delivery and how early a baby is born, it can also be an emergency. Several factors can put a pregnant woman at a higher risk of having premature labor and delivery.
Awareness of strategies to delay and prevent premature birth can help the mother have the most enjoyable pregnancy. Preparing in advance can help you proactively manage your time of pregnancy to be a good and positive experience. About 50% of the time, when a premature birth occurs, the cause or causes are unknown. However, some causes and signs of premature birth are commonly known.
One significant risk factor for premature labor and delivery is when a woman is pregnant with twins or multiple babies. Over recent years, the rate of twins and multiple babies has increased. Fertility drugs and other assisted reproduction techniques are considered to be the main reason for an increase in twins, triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, and more. Mothers of twins and multiple babies often go into premature labor spontaneously.
About half of all twin deliveries occur at 36 weeks or less.
Half of triplets deliver before 32 weeks or less.
Additionally when giving birth to multiple babies, early labor may need to be induced due to complications.
Another critical risk factor to be aware of is infections. Some types of infections that can result in premature births are as follows.
Urinary infections can double the risk of premature birth. Your obstetrician will periodically be screening for urinary infections at the expectant mother’s medical visits. If a urinary infection is discovered, antibiotics may be prescribed for treatment.
Bacterial vaginosis doubles the risk of premature birth. A light or heavy vaginal discharge that has a mild “fishy” smell can be one of the easily noticeable symptoms. This infection can also be treated with antibiotics.
Other factors for premature labor and delivery include particular stress to your body from substances or physical demands. These risks include anemia, slow maternal weight gain, stressful work habits, smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs.
Some other risk factors for premature birth include prior multiple abortions, low pre-pregnancy weight, and being under 17 or over 40 years of age. Being aware of these risks can help you and your doctor determine whether you and your baby need special care to prevent premature labor.
If you at high risk due to these factors mentioned above, your physician can help take special precautions to ensure the best outcomes for you and your new baby.
We strive to give every patient the utmost care and comfort. As one of the best obstetrics and gynecology practices, we provide the best possible care by creating trusted and safe environments for women.
Our team is made up of highly qualified board-certified physicians and nurse practitioners. We prioritize comfortable office settings, a well-trained staff, and sincere smiles. Dedicated to empowering our patients, we provide the best practices and newest technology to manage your health.
Our doctors and nurse practitioners are committed to our patients and the surrounding community. Visit our North Atlanta OBGYN clinic today to enjoy personal and superior women’s care to keep you healthy.