Last modified: August 2, 2019
Richard Honaker M.D.View Full Profile
Premature birth affects 1 in 10 infants born in the U.S., according to the CDC. This makes premature birth prevention a top priority among women who are pregnant or are thinking of becoming a mom to be.
Are you pregnant or planning a pregnancy in 2017? It is vital you get the facts about premature birth and how you may potentially prevent becoming a statistic. The first step is to talk to a doctor about risk factors and make a solid pregnancy plan.
Do You Know the Causes of Premature Birth?
One of the top serious risk factors for premature birth is already having a prior preterm birth. But there are other premature birth risk factors you should learn and fully understand as well.
Premature birth risk factors include . . .
- Becoming pregnant in your teens
- Getting pregnant after you turn 35
- Alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
- Being overweight and underweight
- Stress and depression
- Past pregnancy complications
- Chronic health conditions (diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure, etc.)
- Uterus infection
- Fertility treatments
Premature Birth Prevention Tips You Can’t Afford to Ignore
If you are planning to get pregnant or already have a baby bump to show off among family and friends, there are prevention tips you can consider. These tips are certainly not guaranteed, but may boost your chances of carrying that bundle of joy full-term.
1. Always Get Prenatal Care
Prenatal care is essential for premature birth prevention, since doctors can take a look at your unique medical history, weight, nutrition, and ensure everything looks good prior to conception.
2. Have You had Your Flu Shot?
Getting your flu shot can reduce your risk for the flu and decrease your risk for premature birth. It is important to discuss the flu shot with your doc to confirm if it is safe if you are already pregnant.
3. No Brainer . . . Stop Smoking
If you are a smoker, but have pregnancy in your future, it is a good idea to quit ASAP. You can check into alternatives to nicotine via cigarettes and other aids to stop smoking. Be wary of the patch while pregnant, and talk to your doctor.
4. What’s Your Fertility Treatment Plan?
If you are among the many women who are undergoing fertility treatment, it may be best to shoot for an only child to reduce premature birth risk. This is due to the increased risk for preterm labor when twins and triplets are present.
5. Healthy Weight Equals Premature Birth Prevention
Being in tiptop shape prior to becoming pregnant is recommended by doctors, since obesity and being underweight is a risk factor. This doesn’t mean running a marathon every morning though. You need to be at your unique healthy weight, which is determined by a doctor.
6. Keep a Healthy Pregnancy Weight
If you are planning on plenty of couch potato time during your pregnancy, think again. It is just as important to stay at a healthy pregnancy weight as it was during preconception. Stay active and try pregnancy-geared exercise to keep a healthy weight around that baby bump.
It is important to talk to a doctor before taking matters into your own hands when it comes to premature birth prevention. You are certainly unique, and some prevention tips could be counterintuitive to your specific health needs. Make the most of your pregnancy by getting the most months out of it as possible.
What premature birth prevention tips have you used during pregnancy?
Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker: http://www.independentmedicalexaminer.com/IME-Directory/Virginia/Dr-Richard-A-Honaker-MD.asp
Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.