Scientifically, it is somehow difficult for research teams to discover why some babies are born prematurely. Regardless, there are some actions pregnant women can take to lower their chances of premature delivery. From weight management to quitting smoking, these are some tips that might save the life of your baby and help you deliver them healthy and on time. Keep reading below which strategies will help you avoid such circumstances
In This Post:
Weight plays an important role
Learning how to manage your weight during pregnancy in a healthy manner will help you avoid premature birth. Remember that underweight and overweight women have equal chances of premature birth. However, more attention should pay women whose BMI before pregnancy was 30 or over. According to multiple research papers, overweight women have more chances of premature birth. Use a body mass index calculator to find our what your index currently is. If necessary, make small adjustments to your meal plan. Make sure to include more healthy foods into your diet. Portion control works wonderfully weight management-wise. Unlike popular opinion, you don’t have to “eat for two” when pregnant. Yes, you should take appropriate supplements and adapt your diet to the new daily calorie necessary, but don’t exaggerate.
Also, don’t overlook the importance of light physical activity. It will also help you have an effortless and safe delivery. But don’t try to lose weight when pregnant.
Staying active during pregnancy is also recommended
Remaining physically active will boost your mental well-being during pregnancy and will lower your chances of birth complications. It also reduces the risk of pregnancy diabetes and pre-eclampsia, a condition specific to pregnant women. This condition manifests as hypertension and increased protein levels in the urine; it also leads to premature birth.
Unless your Ob-Gyn advised you otherwise, involving in low-impact and low-intensity physical activity is always recommended. Try to collaborate with a fitness instructor that specialises in pregnant women to tailor your own workout program if you were previously an active woman. Keep in mind that any type of activity will help, you don’t need organized fitness classes. Walking, working in the garden and shopping all qualify as a light workout.
The medical experts at this Queens GYN medical office claim that if you suffer from one of the following conditions, you should discuss with your gynaecologist before involving in any type of exercise.
- Persistent bleeding;
- A predisposition to water breaking early;
- Cervical stitch;
- Foetal growth restriction;
- Placenta praevia after 26 weeks;
- Gestational diabetes.
You will still be able to exercise with some of these conditions (e.g. gestational diabetes), but you will have to be closely supervised by a medical professional.
Mental health and premature birth concerns
Stress and anxiety or depression seem to increase chances of premature birth. The exact correlation is unclear yet, but it exists. It may be because women facing mental health issues are less likely to lead a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes mental issues are difficult to assess because we all face different challenges. However, discussing with a therapist if you feel “a bit down” during your pregnancy will most likely help you achieve better mental health and lower your chances to deliver prematurely.
Smoking and premature birth
The correlation between these two is an obvious one and medical experts always recommend giving up this habit during pregnancy, sometimes even before. Not only smoking is linked to premature birth, but it also is linked to higher chances of birth defects. Cut down or give up completely for a healthy pregnancy and baby. It has been observed that mothers who have been smoking throughout their pregnancy have babies that weight less.
Alcohol increases the chances of preterm delivery
Giving up completely is the safest step that you could take towards a timely delivery. When you drink, alcohol passes through your blood to the placenta and so, to your baby. There is no safe amount of alcohol that you could ingest during pregnancy. During the first three months of pregnancy, when the baby develops the most, alcohol consumption is completely forbidden from a medical standpoint. The side effects of alcohol ingestion during pregnancy could be catastrophic.
- Early miscarriage;
- Birth defects;
- Premature birth;
- An undeveloped brain of the baby;
- Restricted growth in the womb;
- Foetal alcohol syndrome;
- Higher chances of illness in infancy and childhood.
These conditions are one of the most important reasons why most women give up completely once they learn about the pregnancy.
Drugs and premature birth
Pregnant women that use recreational drugs have higher chances to give birth to underdeveloped infants and infants with birth defects. If you developed dependency over the years, medical experts recommend seeking specialised help immediately. The chemicals in the drugs don’t often cause premature delivery (but they do cause other health concerns).
They alter your perception of reality and increase your chances of hurting yourself. The effects of drug use decrease your judgemental capabilities and might make you decide for actions that are not in your best interest. Also, using recreational drugs during the pregnancy will lead to withdrawal in the baby once they are born.
Medication-wise, you should only take the pills that your doctor recommended and avoid taking any medication without asking your doctor first. Some medication might have adverse reactions harmful to your baby and lead to premature birth or complications.
Infections and premature delivery
Many viruses and bacteria might cause premature birth. This is why you have to prevent as much as possible catching a virus. All infections can compromise the mother’s immune system and their babies’. To prevent animal-borne infections, make sure to always wash your hands after petting your companions. Cats are notorious for transmitting to pregnant women a bacterium that causes toxoplasmosis. Avoid or limit certain foods. They may contain bacteria that will damage your immune system.
These are some of the best advice that you have to lower your chances of premature birth. Make sure to discuss more with your Ob-Gyn and ask more questions on how could you prevent premature birth. Also, make sure to keep up with your visits. Some big health concerns in you and the baby will be identified timely and stopped if you do so.
Article Source Reference: Emu Health-Medical Clinic, 83-40 Woodhaven Blvd, Glendale, NY 11385, (718) 850-4368