Thursday, March 3, 2011

Premature Birth and Preterm Labor

There are some very unfortunate cases of pregnancy where the child is born premature, this normally happens in ten percent of the births in the United States. The survival rate of premature birth is only twenty five percent, with seventy five percent of the deaths resulting from premature birth.

Any child born before the thirty seventh week of the original forty-week pregnancy is considered a premature baby. Babies born prematurely are at a greater risk of having problems in the future than those born only two weeks before the forty-week mark. A child born prematurely can have hearing problems, visual problems, cerebral palsy, possibly chronic lung disease, and other disorders.

When a woman has a premature baby, it may be because of complications that arise and the doctors must take the baby before the forty-week mark. Another reason of premature birth, is preterm labor, which is where the woman's cervix starts to open before the thirty seventh week of the birth. There can be several causes of preterm labor, but the medical researchers are not sure which ones are present and which ones are not.

There are not many tips and tricks to prevent preterm labor because the exact causes of it are not known. A special test is designed to test the fluid that is expelled from the vagina during the first two weeks of pregnancy and the last two weeks before birth, helps determine a delivery date, and help solve the problem of births that last over the forty natural weeks.

Even though preterm labor is not able to have causes listed, there are still some factors you should be concerned about to make sure that you are not "at risk" during your pregnancy. This pregnancy might be considered "at risk" if you have had another birth or labor that was preterm, if you have a uterus that is abnormal, have had two miscarriages in the second trimester, found out you are pregnant with more than one child, infections such as kidney or urinary are present, your amniotic fluid is above or below normal levels, and you might also be at risk if you have a placenta previa.

If at any point in your pregnancy you feel like you are having preterm labor, try to lie down on your left side for about an hour, consume at least three glasses of juice or water to stay hydrated, and if there is not a change, contractions are not at least four per hour, call your doctor immediately. Notifying your doctor, you may be saving your unborn baby's life.

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