Preterm labor or premature labor is an occurrence in pregnant women where the body begins to prepare for birth earlier than expected. It usually starts three or more weeks before your scheduled due date, and preterm labor contractions open the cervix much sooner than week 37 of the pregnancy.
Premature labor results in giving birth prematurely, which poses a significant risk for the baby. The earlier the delivery occurs, the higher the risk of developing health issues concerning the premature baby. Because the babies are born a lot ahead of the scheduled date, they need special care in neonatal units and can be susceptible to permanent physical and mental issues.
Fortunately, medicine has been progressing, and today there are different options doctors can use to try and prevent premature labor because the longer the baby grows within the womb, the healthier it will become after birth. When it comes to causes, they are often not known, but certain risk factors have a tendency to increase the chances of preterm labor.
As said, doctors can be of great help, so to prevent pregnancy issues, make sure you pick the best obstetrical care services at Boca Raton & Boynton Beach, FL. By scheduling an appointment at Women’s Health Partners, one of the best clinics for obstetrical care in this part of the world, you will get premium service and a guarantee of continuous support and guidance.
Signs of Preterm Labor
Although you can’t prevent preterm delivery on your own, there are certain signs you can track to seek support and guidance from your chosen doctor in a timely manner. The potential symptoms include:
- You feel tightening in the abdomen very frequently (preterm labor contractions)
- You have a dull, continuous ache in your back
- There is constant pressure in the pelvis and the lower abdomen
- You experience abdominal cramps
- There is vaginal spotting present or light bleeding
- You experience preterm rupture of the membranes
- Your vaginal discharge is different; it is more watery, bloody, or resembles mucus
- Symptoms which resemble the flu are present, including vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea
There is no such thing as being too cautious when it comes to pregnancy, especially regarding potential complications, so take the signs of preterm labor very seriously, and contact your doctor or midwife as soon as you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above. Sometimes a timely reaction saves a person from a variety of negative consequences.
What Are the Risk Factors?
Unfortunately, anyone can experience premature labor, and many different factors can be related to the increased risk of this occurrence. We have listed some, but this is in no way an extensive list, so make sure your doctor is aware of any new developments regarding your pregnancy.
The risks include:
- Previous experiences with premature labor, whether during the most recent pregnancy or several previous ones
- Carrying twins or more babies
- The patient has a short cervix
- Issues with the placenta or the uterus
- Consumption of cigarettes, alcohol, or illegal drugs
- Infections that affect the genital tract or the amniotic fluid
- Issues with diabetes, blood pressure, depression, preeclampsia, blood clotting, etc.
- Excessive amounts of stress
- Polyhydramnios or an excess amount of amniotic fluid
- Bleeding from the vagina
Can I Prevent Preterm Labor?
Generally, no particular prevention measures are guaranteed to work when it comes to premature labor. Still, there are definitely steps you can take to enhance your health status and contribute to a healthy pregnancy.
- Have regular prenatal check-ups and quality care: Your continuous prenatal appointments are crucial for a healthy pregnancy because your chosen medical professional can monitor your progress and overall health, as well as the health of your future baby. You can share any concerns, worries, changes, and symptoms in a timely manner and prevent potential complications.
- Healthy, nutritious diet: As with any other condition, a healthy diet is critical. Many successful pregnancies are connected to high-quality nutrition, and different research shows that risks of premature birth are lower if the mother consumes fatty acids found in seeds, fish, seed oils, or nuts.
- Quit smoking, drinking, or using drugs during your pregnancy, regardless of the situation.
- Space out your pregnancies: Many experts advise that women should leave a certain amount of time between two pregnancies (at least 12 months) so that the body has time to recuperate and prepare for another pregnancy.
- Having multiple babies (twins, triplets, etc.) is, as mentioned, a risk factor for preterm labor. When people use assisted reproductive technology, it is advised to pay attention to the number of embryos that are transferred to avoid additional complications.
- Take care of your overall health: A certain number of patients face different conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and being overweight, which can influence your pregnancy. It is crucial to take care of your overall health, so speak to your doctor about the ways of managing these conditions during pregnancy.
Prenatal care is crucial during pregnancy, especially if you are potentially susceptible to risk factors for premature labor. Our clinic has an expert team with years of experience with patients who are facing issues during pregnancy. Contact our staff, and schedule a meeting. It is crucial to have regular prenatal care, where the doctor will monitor any and all changes to be able to react on time if any issues occur. Visit our center, and find out why we are the best!
You and your baby are safe with us! Give us a call.