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Prevent premature birth

Find out the precautions you can take to avoid preterm birth in your pregnancy and arrive peacefully at 37 weeks pregnant.

Prevent premature birth
Margarida Gamboa
by Margarida Gamboa
Preterm births (premature births) represent about 10% of births worldwide and one of the biggest fears of many pregnant women. Before reading this article, we warn you that in many cases there are no sequelae of preterm births and today medical advances achieve many “miracles” (not least it depends a lot on the week of birth). Anyway, it is very important to avoid preterm births and that is why we give you some tips that you can follow for a healthy and peaceful pregnancy.

How is preterm birth defined and what are the symptoms?

It is defined as a birth between the 22nd and the 37th week of gestation. Despite being one of the main causes of death in newborns, today science save many babies and in many cases without sequelae. It is considered in labor when the pregnant woman has frequent contractions (one every 5 to 8 minutes), with more than 2.0 cm of dilation.

The causes for a premature birth vary: they can be directly related to the mother or have nothing to do and are only proper to the gestational period, without obvious direct causes. Some reasons that explain premature birth are related to the age of the pregnant woman, gestation of multiple fetuses, malformations of the fetus, lack of prenatal control, emotional stress, habits such as tobacco, alcohol and drugs, in addition to possible accidents.

So how to identify signs of premature birth? There are several warning signs. Feeling them does not mean you are in labor, but you should consult your doctor or health unit and see if everything is fine. These are symptoms that you should be aware of (usually, if accentuated or strong): pressure or pain in your pelvis, menstrual cramps, lower back pressure, intestinal pain, diarrhea, contractions, pink, brownish or red vaginal flow, and contractions (they are contractions that do not disappear and are more and more frequent, regular and uncomfortable).

How to avoid premature birth?

With the medical monitoring and complementary diagnostic tests that exist today in pregnancy, the risks of preterm birth are increasingly reduced. Either way, the behaviors of pregnant women influence and can help to control the possibilities of preterm birth.

Drink plenty of water


It is important for everyone to drink water and even more for pregnant women. The lack of water can cause contractions. One way to control is to evaluate the color of the urine: if it is light yellow you will be drinking enough water at the outset.

Maintain a healthy diet


Having a varied and healthy diet with ideally unprocessed foods will be ideal. Your obstetrician will indicate a food supplement if he/she thinks it will be important. Note that taking supplements does not replace a rich and varied diet. Also maintain a stable weight, appropriate to your body composition, within healthy parameters, it is important.

Prevent urinary infections


It is important to keep your bladder empty, wear cotton underwear to ensure better sweating, and when going to the bathroom, always clean yourself from front to back. All of this advice prevents a urinary tract infection, which can trigger childbirth by increasing the risk of contractions.

Be careful with physical exercise


Although doing and / or maintaining physical activity is positive for pregnant women, it is important to be aware and know your body. If you notice greater tiredness, discomfort and even contractions, stop exercising and talk to your doctor before starting again. Do not carry heavy objects. Try to sit for a few minutes with your legs elevated about every hour.

Balancing body and mind


Stress and emotional balance are essential for a peaceful pregnancy. If you feel anxious during pregnancy, talk to those close to you, your doctor and if necessary seek specialized clinical help. If possible, do some kind of activity, adapted for pregnant women, that allows you to "turn off" and find that balance (pilates, yoga, dance, reading club, etc.).
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