Pregnancy

How to Prevent Premature Delivery

Every parent wants a healthy pregnancy that results in a healthy newborn. To a certain extent, mothers can help lower the risks of a premature delivery by making certain health and lifestyle choices during pregnancy.

Some of the measures which could be taken by pregnant mothers to avoid a premature delivery are:

Get Prenatal Care
Call your doctor as soon as you think you may be pregnant. At the first visit, your doctor will give you a thorough checkup for conditions that could threaten a pregnancy such as diabetes, high blood pressure, urinary and genital tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and anemia. If you have any of these conditions, proper treatment will help restore your health and protect your baby.

Get Enough Folic Acid and Iron
Two nutrients — iron and folic acid — are especially crucial for preventing premature births. It is advisable that all women who are pregnant (or planning to become pregnant) take a daily prenatal vitamin with folic acid. In addition to encouraging full-term birth, taking a supplement containing 400 micrograms of folic acid each day will help reduce the risk of the baby developing spina bifida and other neural tube birth defects.

Don’t Smoke
In simple terms, cigarette smoke poisons your baby’s world. Refrain from smoking. Reports suggest that smoking 1-9 cigarettes each day may be enough to cause a baby to be born ahead of schedule and at a lower birth weight. Pregnant women who smoke are also more likely to suffer miscarriages. So avoid smoking to ensure a safe delivery and a healthy baby.

Avoid Alcohol
Consumption of alcohol is another activity from which pregnant mothers should refrain. Heavy drinking can lead to premature births and fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause severe, permanent retardation. Thus, chronic drinking and binge drinking (consuming five or more drinks in one day) are particularly hazardous while you’re pregnant or trying to conceive. Most doctors today discourage any alcohol consumption while pregnant.

Keep a Check on Your Weight
It is found that women who are either significantly underweight or overweight sometimes have trouble carrying a child to full term. There are possibilities that underweight women could go into labor early. Overweight women are vulnerable to conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure — conditions that may force a doctor to induce labor early for the sake of the baby’s health.

Cut Down on Your Stress
Doctors feel that stress on a pregnant woman could lead her to deliver early. Of course, avoiding stress is easier said than done, especially with a baby on the way. You could use different means to relax such as yoga, meditation or pursue some relaxing hobby..

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