Many pregnant mothers worry about giving birth prematurely. While there have been tons of advances in technology that make preterm labour a less scary prospect, it’s obviously best to avoid the risks altogether, if possible. For a pregnancy to be considered full term it needs to last 40 weeks in total. If a child is born prior to 37 weeks, your baby will be preterm.
Complications associated with preterm labour include low birth weight, underdeveloped organs, difficulties in breathing, and infections that could be potentially fatal. There is also the possibility of future developmental problems, learning disabilities, and other behavioural concerns.
How can you avoid preterm labour? There is no way to ensure you will avoid delivering prematurely, but there are precautions you can take. Be certain to see a doctor and get prenatal care soon and regularly. Treat your body well by eating healthily, avoiding substances that are bad for you, keeping up with your dental care (as gum disease can trigger preterm labour), managing stress, and managing any chronic conditions that you as mother may be suffering from.
If the signs of preterm labour show up early enough, medical care and rest may be able to delay the birth for some time, allowing your baby’s vital organs and body to develop longer. Things to look for are frequent contractions (more than eight in an hour), back pain, spotting or bleeding, pelvic pressure, diarrhoea, and water-like vaginal discharge.