Preterm Labor And Birth

Labor that starts before 37th week is called preterm labor or premature labor. A birth that occurs between 20th week and 37th week of pregnancy is called a preterm birth or premature birth.

What Causes Preterm Labor And Birth?

Most of the time what causes preterm labor and birth is not clearly known. The following are the risk factors for preterm labor and birth:

  • Age younger than 19 and older than 45 years.
  • History of a previous preterm birth
  • Short inter-pregnancy interval
  • Having a short cervix
  • History of surgery on the uterus or cervix
  • Health conditions during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, heart or kidney problems, or infections
  • Multiple pregnancy and vaginal bleeding
  • Bleeding due to the abnormal position of the placenta
  • Lifestyle factors such as low pre-pregnancy weight, smoking during pregnancy, and substance abuse during pregnancy

What are the risks to the babies born before full term?

Premature babies may not be fully developed. Babies born prematurely before full term may have certain health problems at birth. They are also at risk for several health problems as they grow up. Preterm birth or premature birth is the most common cause of infant death. Also, it is the leading cause of long-term disability related to the nervous system in children.

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