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Preemie Health

What Is A Preemie
Behavioral Problems
Bonding With Your Preemie
Books To Read
Breastfeeding Your Preemie
Care During The Winter Months
Clothing For Preemies
Comforting Your Preemie
Dads Are Important Too!
Effects of Prematurity
Emotions and Feelings
Equipment In The NICU
Feeding Your Preemie
Health Concerns
Learning Difficulties
Neonatal ICU Complications
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Preemie Proofing
Preemies and Reflux
Preemies and Their Weight
Premature Statistics
Questions To Ask The Pediatrician
Siblings and Preemies
Speech Impairments
Support Groups and Premature Resources
Taking Your Preemie Home
Why Premature Births Happen

Preemie Milestones

Milestone Guide
Emotional Milestones
1 to 3 Months
4 to 6 Months
7 to 9 Months
1 Year Old
Social Skills of A Three Year Old Preemie

Preemie Complications
Apnea and Bradycardia
Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
Intraventricular Hemorrhage
Necrotizing Enterocolitis
Respiratory Syncytial Virus
Retinopathy of Prematurity
Child Development
Language Skills
Separation Anxiety
Baby Routines
Infant Reflexes

Precious Preemie Project

Preemie Stories

Premature Baby Quotes

New Mom Tips

Children's Education
Children's Health
Children and Medical Terminology

Why Premature Births Happen

What you should know!

The normal length of a pregnancy is forty weeks. Babies born before thirty-seven weeks of gestation are considered to be preterm. In the United States, 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely. Most mothers feel it may be something that they did not do that initiated a premature birth, but on the contrary, women who give birth early have usually done a terrific job of protecting and nurturing their babies.

There are no definite reasons why a baby is born premature. The cause is unknown in nearly half of all premature births. Once a baby is born, certain conditions associated with his birth can give a determination as to why he was born early.

Causes of premature labor

Infections: Infections around the cervix, or in the uterus. Other infections, notably those of the kidneys and urinary tract and fetal membranes.

A weak cervix: As the baby grows, the cervix may not be strong enough to stay closed against the baby's increasing weight.

Bleeding: The uterus may bleed because of problems such as placental abruption (the placenta peels away, partially or almost completely, from the uterine wall before delivery). If there is any bleeding from behind the placenta this may irritate the muscle of the uterus and cause early contractions.

Uterus: An unusually shape uterus or a uterus that has a fibroid or fibroids that are benign and non-cancerous.

Water Breaks: Amniotic sac membranes that begin to weaken or give way early.

Amniotic Sac: Too much fluid in the amniotic sac can put extra pressure on the walls of the uterus and perhaps the cervix too.

Lifestyle conditions

Creating an environment that is healthy and safe while carrying your child plays an important role in the risk of having a premature baby.

Always take into consideration these factors:

  • Continuous high stress levels
  • Heavy drinking and or binge drinking
  • Using illegal drugs
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Being poor
  • Long working hours
  • Heavy physical work
  • No prenatal care
  • Exposure to certain environmental pollutants

Medical conditions

Medical conditions vary from mother to mother. Each condition has no impact on a baby born premature.

  • Infections causing very high temperatures
  • Pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure
  • Being underweight
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • IVF that may produce multiple births
  • Birth defects in the baby
  • Thrombophilia
  • Bleeding from the vagina

If labor can be detected earlier, medications can sometimes prolong the pregnancy by as much as six weeks. Unfortunately, despite decades of research, scientists have not yet developed effective ways to help prevent premature delivery.

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