The excitement of a baby being born can be an uplifting experience. However, what isn’t talked about is the fear and anxiety caused during the period of the pregnancy. Every mother-to-be has the fear of something going wrong with the pregnancy or jeopardizing the birth of their child and one of the most common issues that troubles women around the world is the prospect of a premature labour. To alleviate this fear, it is important that you understand what the term premature labour is, what the action consists of and how it can actually affect either you or your child.
What is Premature Labour?
Every pregnancy can be broken down into 3 trimesters or three terms of four months each and a full term of labour consists of nine months. This is because it is estimated that it takes nine months for a foetus to develop enough to be able to handle the outside world and grow independently.
Premature labour is when a mother is unable to carry her baby for the full 9-months term. This can be due to any number of reasons that range from accidents and trauma to unknown or unpredictable illnesses. The term premature labour itself indicates that the baby has been delivered or will be delivered before he/she is physically mature enough to curtail the risks of any disabilities or issues. Premature labour isn’t always preventable, and it can be an extremely scary and nerve wrecking experience. Babies that are born prematurely can be at risk for a number of conditions that can be both minor and major.
15 Ways to Prevent a Premature Delivery
Although not always preventable, premature labour in some circumstances can be prevented. Learning how to avoid preterm labour can help lower the risks of facing this scary situation. Here are some ways to help prevent preterm labour.
1. Talk to a Prenatal Specialist
Talking to a prenatal specialist can help you educate yourself about what the most common causes of a preterm labour are. Understanding the root causes can help you plan your labour a lot better. Make sure you ask them as many questions as you need to best understand the causes.
2. Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal yoga is soon becoming the go-to thing for most mothers. Not only does it keep you fit and help prevent numerous issues like joint pain and headaches, it also helps improve blood circulation and regulates oxygen supply. These factors can help improve the chances of carrying your baby full term.
3. Pregnancy Pilates
Another fun and popular exercise that helps with a full-term pregnancy and combats preterm labour is pilates. This core and pelvis concentrated workout is focused heavily on building and strengthening muscles that are directly involved in childbirth. Pilates can help ease the strain of delivery and also helps regulates your blood flow and relax your joints in the pelvic region allowing for the baby to grow and develop in a safer environment.
4. Fight The Influenza
It is a commonly known fact that women who catch a flu more consistently are at a higher risk for premature labour. Ensure you get your shots on time, follow your doctors’ recommendations for when you have the flu and make sure you get adequate rest. Overexerting yourself when you have the flu can be dangerous and in some cases trigger labour far too early.
5. Take Your Vitamins
One of the most overlooked reasons for premature labour could be a vitamin deficiency. Doctors recommend taking prenatal vitamin capsules that have folic acid combined with them. Ensuring you keep your vitamin counts in check can help prevent premature deliveries.
6. Don’t Smoke
Tobacco is one of the leading causes of babies being delivered early. Nip this bud in the butt and quit smoking during your pregnancy to lower the risk of premature delivery.
7. Avoid Alcohol
It is a commonly known fact that alcohol can harm your pregnancy. What is also commonly known is mothers who drink excessive amounts of alcohol during the pregnancy are at a high risk for preterm labour. Quit drinking for this period to ensure the risk is minimized.
Almost every doctor will recommend exercise during pregnancy. This is primarily due to the fact that exercise improves blood circulation and keeps your heart healthy. This is also known to lead to a healthier foetus which prevents premature births
9. Check and Maintain Your Recommended Weight
Doctors will advise that you stick to a prescribed diet to make sure that your health is in an optimal condition. Too much weight gain will increase the chances of conditions like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia that are known to cause early labour. Being underweight can also cause an early labour.
10. Drink Enough Water
Most of us do not understand the importance of staying hydrated on a daily basis. The importance of this factor increases when you are pregnant. Talk to your OB/GYN about the amount of water you will be required to drink to stay adequately hydrated.
11. Clean Your Teeth
This one might surprise you. Ensuring that you have good gum care can be an important factor in determining that your pregnancy is carried to a full term. Make sure that you keep your dentist appointments and follow good dental hygiene every day.
12. Get Some R&R
Making sure that you get adequate rest and relaxation is vital not just for you and your baby’s health, but it is also necessary to ensure a full term pregnancy. Make sure you ask for help and book yourself a spa day every month.
13. Urinate When Needed
Do not hold your urine if you need to urinate. This can cause irritation to the uterus and the bladder to inflame and cause infections. These infections are known to cause preterm labour.
14. Gap Between Pregnancies
Maintaining a healthy gap between consecutive pregnancies can be beneficial for a full-term pregnancy. Most doctors will recommend that you wait at least 18 months before trying to conceive again.
15. Eat Healthy
Maintaining a healthy diet is an absolute must for your pregnancy. Not only will it ensure that your developing baby receives all the nutrition she needs, it also makes sure that your blood sugar doesn’t spike often or cause gestational diabetes. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin C, and calcium. These nutrients are all known for helping you achieve full-term pregnancy.
Striving for a full-term pregnancy while also making sure that your baby is healthy is one of the primary concerns most mothers-to-be have. Discuss your concerns with your OB/GYN and make sure that you keep all your health care appointments diligently. Keeping yourself comfortable during pregnancy is key and do remember to stay away from any stress during this period.