Premature Delivery Risks

Premature babies may have a variety of health problems to deal with. Life on the outside can be hard for them for a while until their bodies catch up to where their development should have been when they were born. Parents would like to avoid that scenario if they could.

Risk factors you can avoid

Wouldn’t you do whatever you could to ensure your baby’s future health? There are risk factors for delivering a premature baby that are within our control to avoid.

* Smoking – Smoking has been linked to a lot of conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and several respiratory issues. The smoke is filled with toxins that are harmful to not only your body but also that of a developing fetus.

* Alcohol use – Babies born to mothers who drink are at risk not only for premature birth and birth defects but also fetal alcohol syndrome. This affects the neural development of the fetus. What the mother drinks has the potential to cross the placenta and enter the baby’s system.

* High blood pressure – Doctors may advise that you get your blood pressure under control before trying to conceive. Certain medications are not compatible with pregnancy, besides the fact that you are at risk for conditions that can complicate pregnancy, resulting in premature birth.

* Poor nutrition – A baby may have a hard time developing correctly if they are not receiving the proper nutrition from their mother. Not eating can lead to weight loss, which is dangerous for your unborn child. Eat well and often to provide yourself and the baby with nutrients it needs for full-term growth.

* Lack of prenatal care – Some conditions that are not avoidable can be detected with proper care. If you don’t have insurance, health departments provide prenatal care for little to no cost and your baby will get the same good care.

Risks you may not be able to avoid

* Family history – Certain illnesses or conditions may predispose you to early delivery or complications that may result in an early delivery to save baby’s life.

* Multiple births – If you are having multiples, there is a higher chance of delivering early. The earlier these babies are delivered, the more risk they have for lasting health issues.

* Infections – If you discover that you have an infection (especially in the vaginal area) while you are pregnant, seek medical advice. Some infections can compromise baby’s health and need to be treated during pregnancy.

* Age – For the most part this can be controlled, but there is the occasional slip. Older mothers have increased risk for developmental problems and premature birth.