Ways to reduce your risk of preterm labor and birth
Normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. Preterm birth is labor that begins prematurely before pregnancy week 37. This occurs because uterine contractions causes the cervix to open earlier than normal. As a result, the baby is born premature and at risk of health problems. Preterm labor can happen to anybody. However certain lifestyle habits can increase a woman’s risk.
How to reduce your risk of having preterm labor and birth
Here are some tips that can help you reduce your risk of preterm labor and birth.
- avoid bad habits such as smoking, drinking or taking illegal drugs
- get an early and regular prenatal appointment . This will help your health care provider make sure that you and your baby are doing fine
- manage and treat chronic health conditions such as diabetes, thyroid problems and high blood pressure
- ask your doctor how much weight you need to gain during pregnancy
- avoid stress. You can engage in stress relieving activities like prenatal yoga if you feel stressed
- stay active. This is good for you and your baby’s health. Ask your doctor about which exercises are acceptable during pregnancy
- eat healthy foods such as more fruits , vegetables and whole grains
- avoid infections by practicing good personal hygiene such as washing your hands with warm water and soap after you use the bathroom or blow your nose. Have safe sex to prevent sexually transmitted disease. Do not eat raw meat or fish. Dont touch cat poop
- plan your pregnancy and wait at least 18 months between giving birth and getting pregnant again
Reduce your risk of premature labor and birth. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/reduce-your-risk-of-preterm-labor-and-birth.aspx. Accessed November 8, 2015
10 ways to reduce your risk of another preterm birth. University of Utah Health Care. http://healthcare.utah.edu/womenshealth/preterm-birth/10-ways-to-reduce-risk-of-another-birth.php. Accessed November 5, 2015