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Monday, 15 June 2015

Ways To Reduce Preterm Labour/ Delivery

Preterm delivery is the largest cause for perinatal mortality and morbidity amongst newborns, . It is also responsible for a multitude of problems in child development later. How can pregnant women reduce this risk factor then. There are several things that are within your control:

1. Check whether you yourself were premature. If you were,  then you would be at higher risk in your pregnancy. Your obsterician should be made aware of this.

2. Make sure that you are at an ideal weight before you are pregnant. Obesity and a high BMI carries an increased risk of preterm labour. Do not gain excessive weight during your pregnancy.

3. Make sure that if you have any medical condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure or thyroid problems that these are well controlled before pregnancy.

4. Ensure that there is a sufficiently long gap between pregnancies. A gap of at least 6 months would be ideal.

5. Ensure that you are not too stressed, have adequate rest and sleep throughout the pregnancy. Also eat well and nutritiously.

6. Have a checkup early in the pregnancy and have a cervical length measurement done at your first visit with an obstetrician. A short cervical length is associated with a higher chance of preterm labour.

7. If you are at risk of preterm labour your obstetrician should prescribe a hormone, progesterone as early as possible and continue this until the 36th week of your pregnancy.

8. You should have a swab taken at 32 weeks to rule out any vaginal infection which may cause you to have a premature rupture of the membranes.

9. Monitor for signs of impending preterm labour such as frequent painless contractions or bleeding early in the third trimestor. Inform your doctor as soon and early as possible. 

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