Strategies To Prevent Premature Birth
There are several risk factors that contribute to premature birth. While you have little or no control on certain medical conditions/complications like intrauterine growth restriction, problems related to your uterus or cervix, some risk factors are under your partial or complete control, like poor nutrition, stress, smoking, intake of drugs and alcohol – to name a few.
In case you are going to have twins, you should be especially careful to avoid these common risks since multiple gestation pregnancy is a well-known risk factor for preterm birth. Here are some strategies to reduce the risk of a preterm birth.
Focus On Nutrition
Ensure good nutrition by having folate, iron, protein, vitamin D, calcium and essential fatty acids in your diet. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking a lot of fluids (plain water, soups, and diluted fruit juice) but stay away from sugar laden colas, packaged drinks, etc. Being adequately hydrated decreases the chance of urinary tract infections, which often causes preterm birth.
Keep Your Weight In Check
Being obese or overweight can cause preterm delivery. This makes it important to keep moving during your pregnancy and sticking to a light but regular exercise routine as advised by your doctor.
Learn to handle and minimize your stress levels with meditation, deep breathing and other techniques. Avoid stress induced by extreme physical exertion and stay away from major stressors like traveling long distances or moving house. Ensure to get adequate rest. In case you are employed, take early maternity leave if your workplace is a cause of stress. In case you are unable to cope with mood swings and other emotions, talk to friends and family or seek help from your doctor.
Stop Smoking And Drinking Stop smoking and stop consuming alcohol or recreational drugs, as the harmful chemicals and substances in tobacco and alcohol will not only cause severe damage to you and your baby, but you will also most likely have a preterm baby, if these bad habits are not discontinued.
Finally, remember to get yourself registered for antenatal care early on and let your doctor know about any previous or existing health issues that may have an effect on your pregnancy.