A study published on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, notes that, "People who are born prematurely...
A study published on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, notes that, "People who are born prematurely are less likely to have infants of their own later in life and more likely to die during childhood." Sobering news. Yet, this is all the more reason to do what we can to help prevent preterm births. You can do your part to, both before you become pregnant and during your pregnancy. While premature births are never 100% avoidable, there are healthy steps you can take to reduce your chances of experiencing preterm birth. Before becoming pregnant:
- Have your teeth taken care of and be sure that they're healthy. Some studies show that maternal periodontal infection may be associated with an increased risk of preterm birth. If your pregnancy was a surprise visit your dentist during early pregnancy - they'll let you know which procedures are safe while you're pregnant.
- Make sure your whole body is healthy. Research shows that pre-pregnancy health can affect your odds of having a premature baby. The less healthy you are pre-pregnancy, the greater your odds of preterm birth.
- Quit smoking.
- Make sure you weigh the right amount for your body type. Both underweight and overweight women are at risk.
- If you just had a baby, wait at least nine months before becoming pregnant again - some studies show that waiting a year is even safer.
- Seek prenatal care early and make sure you keep to your appointment schedule. Your care provider can catch signs of potential preterm birth, and possibly stop it, but not if you don't make your appointments.
- Take your vitamins.
- Don't smoke.
- Avoid all alcohol and illicit drugs.
- If you're experiencing domestic violence get help. Women exposed to abuse are more likely to give birth prematurely. Abuse includes physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
- Build a social support network. Either in your community and if that fails online.
- Don't work long hours where you stand for extremely lengthy periods.