Though most babies will arrive when they have to, there are certain avoidable reasons why labor may start early or delivery may be premature.
Also it is a growing trend to slot childbirth into convenient time frames – an elective C section for instance, may be sandwiched between professional commitments or social obligations and in doing so a lot of babies arrive into the world too early.
A new study published by Web MD cautions that babies born between 39 and 41 weeks fare better than babies born before the 39th week of pregnancy.
The study also advises that if a delivery is elective, that should also wait at least until you are 39 weeks pregnant in the best interests of the baby.
So what can be done to minimize chances of a preterm labor and delivery?
It is advisable to wait at least a year and a half after having one child, to have a second one. Research has shown that closely spaced pregnancies increase the risk of preterm labor and so pregnancies should be sufficiently far apart.
Cut out cigarettes and banned substances
Smoking, illegal drugs and even some prescriptions drugs are best avoided altogether during pregnancy for many different reasons. One of these reasons is that they increase risk of preterm labor and low birth weight of the child.
Follow medical instructions
Certain pregnancies can benefit from taking rest or observing certain dos and don’ts as prescribed by the doctor. These should be followed diligently so that a woman can be sure that she is doing all that she can to avoid a preterm pregnancy.
Some women are seen to have risk pregnancies or they may be at higher risk of preterm labor due to genetic or other factors. These women may be advised bed rest (particularly during certain parts of the pregnancy) or they may be advised to stop working earlier than would otherwise be the requirement.
In such cases, moderation, even in exercise may be advisable though on the whole exercise is to be highly recommended during pregnancy.
Visit the dentist
This is not just because of the calcium loss and loose gums that many women experience during pregnancy. It is also because gum disease appears to be somehow related to preterm labor. So for several reasons, it is a good idea to be regular in your visits to the dentist during your pregnancy.