Risk Factors for Premature Babies and How to Prevent them - Medic Quotes
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Friday, June 14, 2019

Risk Factors for Premature Babies and How to Prevent them

There are various factors that can increase the risk of pregnant women giving birth to premature babies , starting from the age of pregnancy, premature delivery, unhealthy lifestyle , to certain health problems . Most of these risk factors can actually be prevented.

Premature babies are babies born before the womb age reaches 37 weeks. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that Indonesia ranks fifth as the country with the highest number of premature babies in the world.

Premature birth can cause babies to experience various health problems, not even infrequently also causing infant death. To anticipate this, every prospective mother needs to know what are the risk factors for preterm birth along with prevention measures.

Risk Factors for Premature Childbirth

A pregnant woman is more at risk of giving birth to a premature baby if :

  • Aged under 17 years or over 35 years.
  • Twin pregnancy.
  • Have a preterm delivery.
  • Weight gain during pregnancy is insufficient.
  • The distance between current and previous pregnancies is less than half a year.

In addition, some medical conditions can also increase the risk of pregnant women giving birth to premature babies, including :

  • Suffering from certain diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, preeclampsia , heart disease, kidney disease, urinary tract infections, and sexually transmitted diseases .
  • Have had a miscarriage or had an abortion.
  • Having a body that is too low or excessive before becoming pregnant.
  • Having vaginal bleeding in the 1st or 2nd trimester of pregnancy.
  • Has too much amniotic fluid ( polyhydramnios ).
  • Have abnormalities in the placenta , cervix (cervix), or uterus.

Lifestyle for unhealthy pregnant women can also increase the risk of premature delivery. Some of them are :

  • Poor diet, so that pregnant women are malnourished.
  • Smoking or using illegal drugs.
  • Experiencing severe stress .
  • Undergoing a lot of labor, for example working in shifts

Pregnant women who experience injuries, especially in the abdomen, are also at risk of giving birth prematurely. Injuries can result from falling, or experiencing domestic violence.

Prevent Premature Birth

To reduce the risk of premature birth, there are several preventative steps that can be taken, namely :

Apply a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy

The method is by :

  • Eat balanced nutritious food. This includes adequate intake of protein, carbohydrates, omega-3s, and vitamins and, such as iron and folic acid.
  • Not smoking, avoiding cigarette smoke, and not consuming alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs.
  • Maintain weight so as not to be too thin or too fat.
  • Routinely conduct a pregnancy check up to the doctor on schedule.
  • Avoid stress.

Progesterone therapy

This therapy is intended for women who have a high risk of giving birth to premature babies, especially with a history of premature birth and cervical abnormalities. Doctors can provide progesterone therapy in the form of medication, patches, injections, or tablets that are inserted through the vagina.

Cervical binding procedure

In this procedure, the cervix will be closed by stitching, so there is no premature birth. Binding of the cervix is ​​generally recommended for pregnant women who have had miscarriages, preterm births, and those who have abnormalities in the cervix.
By knowing the risk factors for premature delivery and preventive measures that can be taken, each prospective mother is expected to seek a healthy pregnancy, so that the baby can be born normal and enough months.
Women who have a high risk of premature delivery are advised to consult an obstetrician , both when planning a pregnancy and during pregnancy, to get appropriate treatment. 

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