Poor Sleep Linked to Premature Birth

It is almost fact that women do not sleep great throughout their pregnancy, but new research links premature birth to poor sleep quality in both early and late stages of pregnancy. Early pregnancy, in weeks 14 through 16, showed a 25% increase in premature births as reported by Michele L. Okun of the University of Pittsburgh. She also reported that in later stages of pregnancy the odds increased by 18%. The study included 166 pregnant women using self reporting questionnaires which included the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Interestingly enough sleep quality in the second trimester did not relate to premature birth.

Premature birth has increased from roughly 9% to 12% in the past 25 years. Dr. Okun also said that poor sleep has been linked to more inflammation in the body, which she suggests might be the reason for the premature childbirth. A premature birth is a birth that occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy. There are several causes of premature birth including illness during pregnancy, obesity and stress. Some maternal behaviors including, drug use, smoking and drinking alcohol are known for increasing the odds of a premature birth.

Having a premature infant is extremely expense because premature infant care ranges from $20k and $100k. A single day of neonatal intensive care can cost as much as $3000 per day.

If you are experiencing trouble sleeping be sure to consult your doctor, so they can try to help you manage your sleeplessness. There has been other studies that link caffeine and pregnancy, that might be of interest to you. If you want to lower your risk of premature birth try eating more fish. According to this study pregnant women who eat fish a few times a week may be less likely to deliver early. Check out this odd study that links mouthwash to lower risk of premature birth. There are plenty of strange and unusual ways to lower your risk of having a premature birth. Have any tips for catching more “Zzzz’s” when you are pregnant? Please share below in the comments.

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Chris is a parent of premature twins and knows very well the difficulties in raising twins.