We know that premature babies can have health problems; this is stating the obvious. But new research has shown that being born early even by a couple of weeks could have a negative impact on a baby’s health.
Possible problems for infants born before term
Previously, research regarding babies born early centered on babies born before 32 weeks gestation.
However recent research has shown that even babies born between 32 weeks and 39 weeks could have a higher risk of certain health problems.
Whereas 15% of full term babies could have asthma, a larger percentage of babies born even a little earlier could have asthma.
Also babies born a few weeks early could need extra attention and could be more likely to need hospitalization and so babies born early should have more frequent health checkups to ensure that they remain healthy.
Researchers have suggested that the chances of extra illness are modest and that parents need not worry overly about these. However, there is no harm in observing certain pregnancy habits that will help decrease chances of premature delivery.
What you can do to prevent premature delivery
Most of the time, it is factors beyond the control of the mother to be, that causes her to deliver her baby early. However there are certain things that she can do to reduce her risk of going into labor early.
Get regular prenatal checkups: Regular monitoring of a pregnancy and its progress will help to detect anything untoward and make sure that any requisite treatment is started on time.
A woman may think that what she is experiencing is a normal pregnancy symptom whereas a health care provider may view it differently. This way if there is any need for you to take bed rest you can do so.
Detect and treat vaginal infections: Certain infections such as bacterial vaginosis, yeast and so on could precipitate early labor or premature rupture of membranes. Treating these infections could well decrease chances of early labor.
Drink plenty of water: Even a slight fall in water levels in the system could be problematic since low fluid levels could result in premature contractions because the levels of oxytocin in the blood could increase. If it’s very hot and you’re sweating a lot, be sure to drink more water than you would otherwise have.
Avoid causes of premature labor: Long working hours with extended periods of standing up and working could also raise risk of premature labor so think of going off work earlier if you have a job that involves this.