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