Premature Birth is also named as pre-term labor. It occurs when the body starts preparing for delivering the baby too early on during pregnancy. The normal pregnancy lasts for 36 to 40 weeks. If any woman feels uterine contractions before 36 weeks is considered premature. In this article, you will read about the serious causes of premature birth (pre-term labor).
The more premature a baby is, the lesser its chances of survival and the greater the chances of the child experiencing problems after birth. According to Healthline, babies born before 25 weeks have a very high risk of long-term problems including neurological problems and learning disabilities
: Serious Causes Of Premature Birth (Pre-Term Labor) :
There are some medical treatments that enable pregnancy to be prolonged; even if any woman has experienced premature contractions. These treatments avoid putting themselves or their child at risk. All pregnant women out there should be aware of these causes of premature birth (pre-term labor).
Researches have proved that severe emotional and physical stress releases such hormones that can cause labor contractions. It also increases the risk of low weight babies; babies that are less than 5.5 pounds. Women who stand for long periods (more than five hours a day) or have occupations that are physically and emotionally demanding are more likely to deliver early.
Stress during pregnancy is caused partially by changing hormones and physical discomfort of the pregnancy itself. Pregnant women should, therefore, try to eliminate external sources of stress from their lives and reduce the effects of stress with mild exercise and sufficient sleep.
Age of Pregnancy :
Women below the age of seventeen and above the age of thirty-five have a much higher risk of premature delivery.
History of Premature Birth or Abortion :
The likelihood of a woman delivering a premature baby is directly related to the number of previous premature births she has had and how early they occurred. The more babies a woman has delivered at full term, the less likely it is that her subsequent delivery will be premature. Women who have had abortions in the past also display a higher tendency for premature births. Though the science behind this is not yet confirmed, it is believed that abortions may lead to cervical damage which makes it more likely that the cervix will abnormally open early during subsequent pregnancies.
The presence of a bacterial or viral infection anywhere along a woman’s urinary or reproductive tract (especially sexually transmitted diseases) can increase the risk of early labor and delivery. Some premature birth-inducing infections can also occur in the bloodstream. Common examples of such infections include gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and bacterial vaginosis.
Smoking Before or During Pregnancy :
Smoking during pregnancy is known to cause a host of problems including low birth weight, premature birth, certain birth defects and infant death—mostly as a result of decreased oxygen availability for the baby. An NCBI research study conducted in 2005 concluded ‘smoking increases the risk of very preterm birth caused by preterm labor (including idiopathic preterm labor), preterm premature rupture of membranes, and late pregnancy bleedings’.
Multiple Gestations :
Multiples (twins, triplets, quadruplets etc.) cause the uterus to stretch more, which increases the risk of early contraction and thus premature birth. The uterus may be stretched to such an extent that it begins to contract before the fetuses have fully developed. Infertility treatment, as well as artificial insemination techniques, significantly increase the chances of multiple gestations.
Short Interval between Pregnancies :
Waiting less than a year between successive pregnancies almost doubles the chances of premature delivery. Women should wait at least 18 months after giving birth before conceiving again.
Gum Infections :
Pregnancy hormones make expecting mothers more susceptible to periodontal diseases. Periodontitis is a destructive inflammatory disease of the gums and is caused by specific microorganisms. The bacteria that infect the gums travel throughout the body and reach the fetus, via the mother’s bloodstream. This can account for some of the inflammatory processes associated with premature birth and low birth weight. NCBI recommends that pregnant women expand preventative measures and improve their oral hygiene practices.
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