Although you might not plan for anything to happen to your baby before birth, there are some issues that could arise. The best thing that you can do would be to engage in healthy activities that will promote a healthy pregnancy and delivery. If you deliver your baby before the 37-week gestational mark, then it’s usually considered a preterm birth. This is a detail that is set forth by the Centers for Disease Control that states abide by in order to determine if your delivery is full-term or not.
For many preterm births, there is a risk of brain injuries as well as impairments with cognitive and motor skills. There’s also an increased risk of cerebral palsy. When you find out you’re pregnant, you can engage in proper prenatal care as well as a healthy diet in order to possibly prevent preterm birth. If your doctor suspects that there is a possibility for preterm birth, then there is usually a higher standard of care given so that any issues are treated as they are seen. This higher standard of care could possibly prevent birth injuries and health conditions from occurring.
One of the risk factors that could result in preterm delivery would be past deliveries that are before the 37-week gestation period. You also stand a higher chance or preterm delivery if you have a shortened cervix or there are other medical issues that your doctor has noted. In some cases, if you’ve had a preterm birth in the past, then you increase your risk of having another by about 10 to 35 percent. A cervix that is shorter than normal can increase your risk by up to 60 percent. Other factors that could result in preterm delivery include infections, diabetes, preeclampsia, and some conditions that involve the cardiovascular system. If you know that you have any of these conditions, it’s important to let your doctor know when you find out that you’re pregnant so that the proper steps can be taken to monitor your health and that of your baby.
Preeclampsia is among the top reasons as to why you might have a preterm delivery. The growth of your baby is often restricted, your blood pressure can get dangerously high, or your baby can be put in distress while in the womb. Sometimes, the placenta can abrupt, which means that there is a significant amount of blood loss before delivery. Another condition involving the placenta is placenta previa. The placenta can cover the opening to the cervix, preventing a vaginal delivery or causing the placenta to tear away from the uterine wall before the baby is delivered.
Some infections can lead to preterm delivery. When you go to each appointment with your doctor, tests can be performed to determine if you do have any kind of infection in the early stages of your pregnancy or in the later stages if you’re showing any signs, such as a fever.
It’s important to learn about the risk factors of preterm delivery when you find out that you’re pregnant so that you can work with your doctor to prevent an early delivery from happening. A cerclage is sometimes used to prevent early delivery if there is a history of this type of birth. Medications can also be given to stop preterm contractions to try to keep the baby in the womb as long as possible.
Sometimes, there’s nothing that can be done to stop preterm labor even after promoting a healthy pregnancy with diet, exercise, and other steps. Your doctor can administer steroid injections to try to improve the health of the baby in order to prepare for life outside of the womb earlier than 37 weeks gestation. These injections are often given about four weeks before birth if your doctor sees that preterm delivery is imminent.
One way to help prevent preterm delivery is to go to each doctor’s appointment as scheduled. Try to eat as healthy as possible, avoiding foods that have high a high sugar content or foods that are raw, such as sushi. You should also avoid smoking, drinking, and other activities that could result in harm to your baby. If your doctor has not followed the proper standards to monitor for preterm delivery, then contact an attorney to discuss the outcome of the birth and the steps that were taken while you were pregnant in order to determine if a claim can be filed.