You maybe asking what is preterm labor exactly? Well, in this post I will give you some helpful information that can be useful if you show any of the signs of it or feel like something isn't right.
I personally have dealt with preterm labor with my first child. I had him at 34 weeks, due to stress. He spent 13 days in the NICU under excellent care, due to jaundice and breathing issues. My daughter was born at 37 weeks, and I'm hoping this baby will not be preterm. To be able to help prevent preterm labor, I get a weekly Makena injection by a home nurse.
What is preterm labor?
It's when you go into labor after week 20. Before that time frame, it's considered a miscarriage. Doctors like to keep an eye on you if you've had previous preterm labors in the past, and they may even ask you to get a weekly shot of Makena after 19 weeks up until 36 weeks. I get the Makena injection weekly in home, unless it's a week of my midwife appointment at the office, then I just take the injection box with me to her office, and a nurse does it while I'm already there.
What causes preterm labor?
No one can be 100% certain on what exactly is the cause of preterm labor, but there are a few different factors that can play a role in contractions and early dilation of your cervix.
What may cause preterm labor?
- Smoking, alcohol, and drug use
- Short intervals between pregnancies
- Carrying multiples
- Maternal age
- Uterine and vaginal infections
- Pregnancy complications
- Structural anomalities of the uterus and/or cervix
- Gum infections
- Stress levels
- Occupational factors
- Previous preterm birth
How can you prevent preterm labor?
- Aim for 18 months between pregnancies
- Control what you can - smoking, drinking, illegal drugs - stop these
- See your doctor for earlier prenatal care
- Take prenatal vitamins
- Watch your weight
- Eat healthy
- Eat often
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Go when you gotta go to the bathroom
- Brush your teeth regularly
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