Causes and Risks Associated with Preterm Labor

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Causes and Risks Associated with Preterm Labor

Causes and Risks Associated with Preterm Labor

As we all know that a normal or a full term pregnancy lasts up to 40 weeks since your LMP date. A baby born at 37 weeks or less is usually defined as a premature or a preterm baby.

Causes of Preterm Labor

Reasons of premature delivery can be either of the following factors as listed below:

Main factors:

1. Previous premature or cesarean- If a woman already had a premature csection delivery before the current one.
2. Waters breaking early (PPROM) – If the previous pregnancy also resulted due to waters breaking condition.

Other important factors:

1. Gestational diabetes- This happens when there is a failure to control blood sugar levels.
2. Cervix shortening and opening- Cervical insufficiency is linked to the cervix getting infected during the pregnancy.
3. Pre-eclampsia- It is a combination of proteinuria (presence of protein inside urine) and hypertension (high bp).
4. Complications with the placenta- This happens when there is a placental abruption with placenta pulling from the uterine wall.
5. Bicornuate womb- Bicornuate or unicornuate uterus, i.e., abnormally shaped uterus.
6. Twin pregnancies or triplets- A woman carrying more than one baby in her womb leads to health risks with both the bay and the mother.
7. Baby birth defects- This could be breathing problem, brain disorder, etc.
8. Mother overweight or underweight- This condition may lead to preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, miscarriage, etc.
9. Mother alcoholic or smoking lifestyle- Habitual drinkers face Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Even alcoholic mothers also face breastfeeding issues, there’s lack of milk.
10. Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome- This happens when there is a blood clot in the placenta.
11. Conception through IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)- Mother’s age, health and other factors during IVF conception plays a big role because IVF carry as much as 5 times more risk as against normal pregnancies.
12. Non-uterine infection (Pneumonia, appendicitis, etc.)- Such infection causes the uterine to open abruptly anytime leading to premature deliveries.
13. BV or Bacterial Vaginosis- Either it is due to the imbalance in the good and the bad bacteria residing in the uterus or due to untreated bacterial function.
14. Sexually transmitted diseases- Chlamydia infection leads to preterm delivery.
15. Lack of prenatal care- If there is some infection caused to the baby, and proper care has not been taken on time.
16. Stressful life- The woman will not get proper sleep during pregnancy, loss of appetite, headache could result in preterm labor.
17. Occupational factors (lengthy hours or long standing hours)- Prolonged standing will not let the blood circulate properly inside the body and the blood may not reach cervix properly, causing last moment serious complications.
18. Pregnancy at a younger age or above 35- At younger age, woman are weak and after 35, aging leads to complications.

As a result of premature delivery, such babies suffer as mentioned below:

– Low birth weight
– Immature lungs
– Low immune system; hence easily prone to infection
– Slight slow to feed
– Growth slows down
– Breathing issues
– Heart ailments
– Brain disorders
– Problems with gastrointestinal systems
– Chronic health conditions

Treatment to avoid preterm labor is definitely available. You need to speak to your doctor and discuss your medical history as well as complications, if any with the current pregnancy and discuss your lifestyle too. Your doctor will advise you suitable solutions. At the same time, proper postnatal and neonatal care is also available in the hospitals. Proper treatments are also available if the problem is diagnosed on time.

Signs of Preterm labor

– Regular contractions 10 minutes or more
– Waters breaking (PPROM)
– Increased pelvic pressure
– Vaginal bleeding
– Heavy cramps in lower abdomen

If you have any questions related to pregnancy, please feel free to Ask Your Queries here at MediMetry.


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