How to Lower Risk of Premature Birth
Premature birth is that which occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy. A pregnancy that lasts for more time takes about 40 weeks with a difference of days among different women and pregnancies for the same woman. Risks factors for premature birth include the previous occurrence of the same or having twins or triplets in the womb.
Premature birth means that the baby will require more intense care in the nursery, require more medication and sometimes surgery. Although some incidents of premature birth cannot be prevented, the good news to women is that you can lower chances of getting a baby before time. Living a healthy lifestyle and taking the measures below that guarantee the safety of the pregnancy.
Preventive Measures for Premature Birth
Prevention of infections
Many infections can cause premature birth as immunity in a pregnant woman is lower and a minor infection will compromise it even further.
Vaccination is one of the best ways of preventing infections. Another essential preventive measure is to improve general hygiene. Pay more than usual attention to washing hands before eating, after leaving the washroom and before touching the mouth. Maintaining oral hygiene and cleanliness in the home and general surroundings are essential.
Women with any infection should get treatment quickly and inform a doctor about their pregnancy because some medication could be unsafe at this stage. STI such as herpes, syphilis, and gonorrhea are especially dangerous to the fetus.
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Cessation of smoking and alcohol consumption
When a pregnant woman smokes, she increases the likelihood of causing problems to the pregnancy and even harming the growing baby. Smoking has a strong link to premature labor. Women who smoke more cigarettes increase chances of premature birth. Reducing the risk getting a baby prematurely requires smoking women to stop or at least cut down the number of cigarettes or cigars. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen reaching the baby thus impairing its growth. An average smoker doubles chances of giving birth too early. The baby is likely to be underweight and chances of stillbirth are higher.
Taking alcohol especially excessively is a risk factor for premature birth. It prevents full development by suppressing the growth of cells. Alcohol can pass from mother’s to baby’s bloodstream to cause other defects such as damage to the brain, or spinal cord cells. Giving up completely is the safest action for pregnant women to take.
Avoid recreational drugs and narcotics
Drugs during pregnancy cause reactions that are likely to harm the baby and increase the risk of premature birth. Substances such as cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, and heroin are capable of causing harm to the baby and its mother. Some women who use recreational drugs stop after realizing they are pregnant but it is important to get away from the habit. Those with dependency on the drug are likely to get an urge of using the drugs on occasions which is dangerous to the unborn baby because of the chemical content.
These drugs increase the chance of premature birth. They also alter perceptions and impair judgment. The misguided judgments make many women make wrong lifestyle choices that increase the risk of premature delivery. If the baby survives, it is likely to suffer from withdrawal symptoms and development issues.
Prevent food poisoning
Food poisoning is dangerous for pregnancy as it can cause infection, premature delivery or stillbirth. It also causes unpleasant experience by causing contact vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and dehydration which can increase anxiety.
It is important to store in a clean place to keep toxins, bacteria or viruses at bay. Another essential step is to avoid certain foods that could contain bacteria. These include uncooked foods, unpasteurized cheeses and raw fish like sushi or meat such as carpaccio because they could be carrying harmful E.Coli. Any surface or utensils they touch needs cleaning with disinfection. It is also important for women to wash their hands before eating and consume foods before the use-by date.
The above and any other protective are essential for pregnant women to lower likelihood of premature birth.