Does your doctor suggest preterm delivery and that leaves you confused? This is one situation you may have to face while nearing the end of nine months of pregnancy.
According to the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, preterm labor is “when contractions begin to open the cervix before the 37th week of pregnancy.” It is planned if you or your baby are not doing that well or have a complication. Typically, the doctor suggests inducing labor or performing a cesarean session before you complete your 37 weeks.
There are also spontaneous preterm births. This happens if your water breaks early or if your cervix opens prematurely, i.e., before you reach 37 weeks with no contractions. Chances of preterm labor may also arise if you have heavy bleeding or a bacterial infection in your vagina.
Factors Increasing Your Risk Of Premature Labor:
Being pregnant for the first time, you may have no idea what preterm labor feels like and you might not know its symptoms. Some of the c
- Maternal or fetal stress
- Consumption of alcohol
- History of Smoking in pregnancy
- Underweight or overweight during pregnancy
- Health conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure, preeclampsia or infections
- Not getting good prenatal care
- Too much or too little fluid
- Being pregnant with twins or multiples
- Prenatal exposure to certain chemicals or drugs
- Being pregnant with a baby that has certain birth defects
Always remember, that having these factors doesn’t mean that you will have a preterm labor, it just increases the risk of happening.
[ Read: Can Stress Cause Preterm Labor ]
Symptoms Of Preterm Labor:
It is important for expectant mothers to know what are signs of preterm labor. So that when it happens, you can take immediate actions. Hence, call your doctor right away if you facing any of these symptoms before 37 weeks:
- Constant low backache that is different from the other times you have felt during your pregnancy.
- Change in vaginal discharge like increased amount or consistency of discharge.
- Intensive Pelvic pressure in your pelvis or vagina, like a sensation that your baby may come out.
- Cramps, similar to menstrual period, that may come and go or be constant.
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
- Heavy bleeding from your vagina.
- Contractions or a tightening sensation of the uterine muscle that happens every 10 minutes or more often.
5 Ways To Prevent Preterm Labor:
If you encounter any of the above symptoms, you should call your doctor even in the middle of the night to get assistance. Since prevention is always better than cure, here are some ways on how to avoid preterm labor.
1. Healthy Diet:
A balanced diet is good for you and your pregnancy. What you eat, will affect your baby. Eat diet rich in Vitamins C such as berries and citrus fruits that will keep the bag of water intact for a longer time.
- Yogurt has anti-bacterial properties that will help to prevent the colonization of vagina, which will indirectly prevent preterm labor.
- In take good amount of salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds, veggies such as broccoli, carrots, apricots, which will reduce inflammation leading to preterm labor.
[ Read: Pregnancy Diet Chart ]
2. Take Prenatal Vitamins:
Prenatal vitamins and more of folic acid, calcium, nutrients and iron are all suppose to help prevent preterm labor.
- These pills will help to enhance your health as well of your growing baby.
- Every pregnant woman should invest in these pills.
3. Intake Of Fluid:
It seems to be so easy to drink water or have fortified juices-but taking enough fluid surely makes a big difference.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of fluid everyday to keep yourself hydrated that will prevent you from premature contractions.
- In addition, add all natural juices and dairy products to your healthy eating plan.
4. Watch Your Weight:
Obesity leads to gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, both, which increases the risk of preterm labor.
- Gain weight wisely, aim for the right gain as it can support your baby’s health.
- Work with your midwife to determine what the right amount of weight gain is for you during pregnancy.
5. Avoid Risky Substances:
It is always advisable to talk to your health care provider before taking any kind of over the counter medicines.
- If you have a habit to smoke or intake alcohol, cut down completely as they might trigger preterm labor.
- If you have an addiction problem or if your family has a history of addiction to these substances, please seek advice from your physician.
These were some of the natural ways to prevent preterm labor. Hope this help you. Finally, we would like to say the more early you respond to the warning the signs, the better for you. Wish you a safe and healthy pregnancy!
Don’t forget to share your experiences with us.
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