When a baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy, he is termed as pre-term. Depending on how early a baby is born, he may be termed as late preterm (34-36 weeks), moderately preterm (32-34 weeks), very preterm (less than 32 weeks) and extremely preterm (Less than or in the 25th week).
Most premature births are either late preterm or moderately preterm. Usually, earlier the baby is born, more the complications. When you realize that you are pregnant, you would be too happy to concentrate on other factors that may disrupt your pregnancy. It is important for you to understand the risk factors that may result in preterm baby and take proper precautions earlier.
Some factors can be avoided, and some cannot. The exact causes of a preterm baby are not defined but there are many probable risk factors.
Pregnant with multiple children
When you carry more than one baby, the chances of premature birth increase to a great extent. In such scenarios, you should discuss with your doctor to have a safe pregnancy.
First premature pregnancy
If your previous baby was delivered premature, it is quite possible of experiencing another preterm birth. You should keep your doctor informed about your earlier pregnancy and take proper precautions.
Chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity may also increase the chances of preterm birth. You need to keep your blood sugar level in control during pregnancy.
Alcohol & Smoking
No amount of alcohol, smoking or drugs are good for you during pregnancy. They should be avoided completely to save you from complications – premature birth being one of the most common.
Untreated urinary tract and vaginal infection can cause kidney infection, which may further cause premature birth. If you feel any kind of infection developing, visit your doctor immediately.
Stress & poor nutrition
Women with very low or very high body mass index are vulnerable as well which may cause premature birth. Stress can be of major concern and create many complications during pregnancy. It is best advised to stay healthy physically and psychologically.
There are some other reasons which may cause preterm birth including the age of the mother (too old or too young), no proper pre-natal care, emotional stress and long working hours (standing & traveling jobs).