8 Tips To Avoid Having A Premature Delivery
Premature deliveries are those that occur before 37 weeks gestation. There are various disadvantages to premature delivery that affect the health of both baby and mother.
While this may seem natural to some, there are contributing factors. Some undesirable habits that increase risk of a premature delivery include smoking and/or drinking alcohol during pregnancy, becoming pregnant again very soon after delivering another baby, or gaining too much or not enough weight during pregnancy.
You can avoid some risks of premature delivery by taking basic precautions and adhering to a healthy lifestyle. Some ways to avoid premature labor are discussed below:
1. Take prenatal vitamins
Taking prenatal vitamins daily during pregnancy reduces your chances of premature delivery. They are not an alternative to the nutrition you can derive from a natural balanced diet but definitely enhance it.
2. Watch your weight
Not gaining enough or gaining too much weight can both increase your chances of premature delivery, making sure your weight remains in the desirable range is important. The average woman should gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy if you start at an average recommended weight for your height. Underweight women need to gain more, studies show that women with body mass index (BMI) of less than 20 are less likely to carry a healthy baby to term.
3. Eat right
Eating a healthy balanced diet comprising all essential nutrients is important for every woman, more so when eating for two! Your diet should include the right amount of protein from healthy sources, dairy products, and plenty of fruits and leafy vegetables. Fish is highly recommended as studies show that women who have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to have premature labor. Foods rich in calcium and vitamin C help development of healthy bones in the baby.
4. Drink more water
Keep sipping at regular intervals. Studies prove staying hydrated during pregnancy decreases contractions. Drink at least eight glasses of water every day and more if you exercise. Staying hydrated increases the chances of carrying babies to term.
5. Do not avoid nature’s call
When you are pregnant it’s advisable to go to the bathroom every time you feel like going. Holding it disturbs your uterus by inflaming it which can lead to contractions. Holding urine can also cause urinary tract infections, another cause of early labor.
6. Visit your dentist
Taking good care of your dental health is an important step in avoiding premature delivery. Visit your dentist at least once during pregnancy. Studies show that events that take place after a uterine infection also occur after periodontal gum disease. Apart for this, the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy may lead to gingivitis, a mouth condition causing red swollen gums.
7. Use the ‘polar bear’ position
Your posture plays an important role throughout your pregnancy. Experts suggest that spending time in the Polar bear position (shown below) relaxes your cervix by removing pressure from it. Spending time in this position moves the baby away from the cervix and keeps it closer to the lungs. It’s advised to get in this position for 15 minutes four times a day.
8. Visit your gynecologist regularly
This may sound like common sense, but many women skip their regular OB/GYN appointments. This is not good, expert advice and care is important during pregnancy. They are experts in this area of medical practice, nothing can replace their advice and observation.
These steps can reduce chances of premature delivery, but there are many other things that can cause it to happen, it is intended only as a guide.