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Decreasing Your Risk of Preterm Labor

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Decreasing Your Risk of Preterm Labor

Mar 21, 2022
A woman in labor

Pregnancy is a beautiful time in a woman’s life. Growing a new life inside of your body is one of the most extraordinary and holistic experiences a person can have. 


While pregnancy often brings joy and hope, we must also remember that there are inherent risks to pregnancy.  


One of the main risks that we consider is preterm labor.  


Preterm labor occurs when regular contractions cause the cervix to open after week 20 of pregnancy, but before week 37, resulting in premature birth.  


The earlier preterm labor occurs, the greater the health risk to the baby. Premature babies need special neonatal care, and they are at higher risk of developing long-term mental and physical disabilities.  


While there is nothing you can do to avoid preterm labor (and preterm labor is never mama’s fault), there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk.  


This article will detail some actions you can take to reduce your risk of preterm pregnancy.  


Your Health, Your Pregnancy 


Although there is no one cause of preterm labor, there are often many smaller factors that play a part.  


Some of these factors are completely beyond your control (for example race, age, medical history), but there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of preterm labor.  


Steps to reduce your risk of preterm labor: 


Start prenatal care early in pregnancy.  

Prenatal care is key to birthing a healthy baby. Attend all appointments and carefully consider your caregiver’s suggestions. Also, make sure you continue treatment for chronic conditions. 


Eat well, stay hydrated, and take any prescribed supplements.  

Keeping up with your basic bodily needs is necessary if you want your baby to be healthy. Be sure to ask your caregiver about calcium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. If your body is deficient in one of these nutrients, it could impact the health of your pregnancy.  


Try to reach your suggested weight before becoming pregnant and avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy. 

Excessive fat is not healthy for a pregnant body. Consult with your doctor or dietician to determine your ideal weight before you get pregnant. If you struggle with your weight, your dietician can help you create a nutritional plan to help you get to a healthy weight. 


Get screened for existing infections and protect against new infections. If you experience symptoms, seek treatment promptly. 

Pregnancy is a chaotic time for your body. The last thing it needs is additional health complications. Make sure you visit a doctor immediately if you are experiencing any signs of illness or infection. 


Limit strenuous activities and ask others for help when necessary. 

You are carrying precious cargo! Don’t over-exert yourself or add any undue burdens. Never be afraid to ask for help. 


Decrease job or life stresses as much as possible. Seek emotional support from trusted friends and family. 


When you are stressed, your body releases hormones into the endocrine system. Those hormones can overload your brain and cause you to break down. Do whatever you can to decrease stress in your life (easier said than done) and ask for support from your friends and family.  


A Healthier Pregnancy for a Future Mama 


While there is nothing you can do to prevent preterm labor, any actions you take to improve your health will improve the quality of your pregnancy and lead to a healthier baby.  


Never be afraid to ask for help from your friends and family.  


Looking for additional support? Reach out to Tamara at Stork Helpers. Call or text Tamara on 513-254-2470. 


Tamara has cared for more than 80 different babies in her career and has raised seven of her own. When you have Tamara as your doula, you can trust you are in good hands.  

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