Premature Babies - The Risks and Strategies for Prevention

Premature Babies

A newborn is considered premature if he or she is born before the 37th week of pregnancy. (Normal pregnancies are 9 months long.) What are the risk factors for having a preemie and what can a pregnant woman do to increase her chances of delivering a healthy, full term baby?

Risk Factors

  • Elevated blood pressure (Preeclampsia)
  • Smoking, excessive use of alcohol or other drugs
  • Diabetes
  • Poor eating habits or malnutrition
  • Lack of regular prenatal care
  • Previous history of giving birth to a preemie (premature child)
  • Placenta previa or placental abruptions during pregnancy
  • Infections that are not localized and spread to the placenta
  • Too much or too little amniotic fluid

Please do not use the list above to make your fearful, rather use it to act. If you recognize any of the symptoms above as something you've been experiencing, then make an appointment with and speak candidly about your concerns with your ob-gyn. A good doctor will help soothe your fears, create reasonable expectations and tell you what you can do to create the best possible outcome for you and your child. Remember that being anxious and fearful does not help you or your baby, in fact, it complicates your pregnancy.

Premature Babies - Preventative Tips

Although following these tips may not prevent you from giving birth prematurely, doing so will give you and your baby the best possible start.

  • Get regular prenatal care
  • Get enough rest
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Attend to infections immediately
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and other drugs
  • Meditate to increase your sense of inner calm
  • Do light exercise such as walking (exercise relieves tension)
  • Take prenatal vitamins
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • If you are sick, don't push yourself: stay home and rest
  • Surround yourself with people who love and care about you and support your pregnancy

Be aware that you can do everything right and still give birth to a preemie. If this happens and you followed our suggestions above, you'll be confident that you did everything in your power to prevent it. With advances in medical technology, premature babies born as early as 24 weeks have an excellent chance of survival.

About the author: Laura Ramirez has been writing and posting articles to her web site for parents just like you for over nine years. Please consider leaving a donation for Laura so that you can support her efforts to educate parents around the world and enjoy the spirit of giving too.

Laura is the author of the award-winning parenting book, Keepers of the Children, which teaches parents how to raise children to develop their natural strengths and lead uniquely meaningful and productive lives. The book is a journey of discovery for child and parent.

Premature Babies - Pregnancy Advice

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