What are the causes of premature birth? how to prevent it

Annually on 17.11. World Prematurity Day is celebrated to raise awareness of the millions of children who are born prematurely each year.

Preterm birth, the birth of an infant before 37 weeks of gestation, is the largest contributor to infant death. Babies born before 32 weeks of pregnancy contribute 50%. In India, out of 27 million babies born each year, about 3.5 million are preterm.

About 40 to 50% of preterm births have no known cause, 30% are due to premature rupture of membranes, and 15 to 20% are attributed to medically indicated or elective preterm births. “The most common causes include a history of preterm birth, gestational age, malnutrition, obesity, infections or chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension, genetic predisposition, addictions such as smoking/drugs/alcohol, and excessive mental or physical stress. ” dr Divya Vora, obstetrician and gynecologist.

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If the mother has an infection such as urine or vagina, or is anemic, preterm birth is possible. Multiple pregnancies – twins, more water around the baby – polyhydramnios, someone with a history of preterm birth, structural problems of the uterus, pregnancy with uterine fibroids are also factors. Premature birth can cause babies breathing difficulties, brain damage, damage to the eyes and feeding system, and more.

What can you do to prevent premature birth?

Register with a gynecologist as soon as you find out about your pregnancy. “Be regular with your mandatory visits and blood and urine tests. I always advise my patients to eat a very good diet – rich in iron, protein, calcium, anemia is a very common problem in our country and mere dietary corrections can help us with that,” says Dr. Mridula Raghav, fertility doctor.

If you are having twins, check with your doctor about your exercise and effort. Any pain that occurs periodically, increases in intensity, and radiates from the lower abdomen to the thighs may indicate preterm labor. In this case, inform your doctor immediately. “In early pregnancy, a suture at the mouth of the uterus can help to delay a premature birth if the cervix is ​​not as long. There are several medications that will relax your uterus and help a pregnancy to continue. Ultimately, regular visits can help your doctor see things early and take care of them,” adds Dr. Raghav added.

Preterm birth prevention can be achieved through preconception counseling to address any problems before pregnancy, optimal care and screening during pregnancy, the use of steroids for fetal lung maturity, and tocolytics to prolong pregnancy.

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