Reduce the Possibility of a Preterm Birth

pregnant woman

The arrival of a new baby is always a cause for joy and celebration, but what if the delivery happens too soon? Certain factors may increase a woman’s risk, but the reality is that many who have a preterm baby can’t pinpoint an exact cause. However, there are some ways to reduce the possibility of a preterm birth. Read on for tips that may help.

Dial the doctor. Don’t delay in getting to the OB. The minute you think you could be pregnant, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Checking in regularly with your doctor will allow her to monitor your health and that of your new baby.

Drink right. This means sticking to low-fat milk, 100% juice, and water. You’ll definitely need to pass on the Pinot and, it goes without saying, ditch the cigarettes, too. Alcohol and other drugs may cause birth defects and increase the chance of a preterm birth, while smoking can impact the flow of oxygen to your new baby, which can slow weight gain and development.

Watch your weight. Being overweight or obese can up your risk of a preterm birth, so speak with your doctor about a smart eating and exercise plan for the duration of your pregnancy.

Fight germs. Yup, washing your hands matters when you’re pregnant, so hit the sink and use soap before meals and after visiting the bathroom. Additionally, try to avoid people who are obviously sick so that you stay healthy yourself.

Be Zen. Experiencing excessive stress when pregnant (whether it’s at home or in the office) can raise your blood pressure, which in turn may increase your risk of a preterm birth. Make an effort to scale back on work projects, household chores, and other commitments that may add to your stress level. Treat yourself well: catch a nap when you can, put your feet up with a good book, and exercise regularly.

Despite every effort, some moms-to-be still end up having a preterm birth. Because it can occur in women without any clear risk factors, don’t feel bad if your baby arrives too soon. Your doctor and the hospital staff will work with you to ensure your preemie is as healthy as she can possibly be.

by Jennifer Kelly Geddes