A premature birth is one defined as occurring prior to the 37th week of pregnancy, with a normal “full term” pregnancy stretching into week 38 – 42. While only affecting around 5 – 10% of pregnancies, premature birth can create some significant complications including the need for Neonatal Intensive Care in cases where the baby is less than 32 weeks old.
In many circumstances, it is beneficial to your baby to avoid premature labour and your Doctor may try to delay the onset of premature labour using a combination of bed rest and/or medication. Where a full term is unlikely, your medical professionals may still try to at least prolong the pregnancy or delay about until the pregnant mother is able to access an appropriate Level 3 Nursery and through medication, give the baby’s young lungs the best chance to develop before birth.
Almost 50% of women who experience a premature birth, may not have obvious risk factors and therefore being thoroughly aware of signs and symptoms that you may be at risk of a premature birth is a useful thing to ensure you can have an informed discussion with your health care professionals, or consult them in case these symptoms appearing. The infographic below from Earlybirds gives a useful overview of these factors, and we hope you find it of use: