National Prematurity Awareness Month Know the Risks and signs of premature delivery

November is Prematurity Awareness month  in the United States.  Although the rates of premature delivery have come down in the United States,  it still represents a significant risk to the baby.

There are a number of things that increase your risk of having a premature delivery. Among the risks are:

  • Having a premature delivery in the past
  • Multiple pregnancy
  • Getting late prenatal care
  • Being overweight or underweight
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Smoking
  • Drinking Alcohol
  • Drug use

Other factors such as working long hours,  stress and even air pollution have been shown to be a risk factor in premature delivery.

It is important that you learn the signs of premature labor so that you can seek immediate help from your doctor. Here are some signs that you may have preterm labor:

  • Contractions
  • Vaginal Bleeding or leaking
  • Pressure in the pelvis
  • Low dull backache
  • Period like cramping
  • Belly cramps

IF you are pregnant and experience these symptoms,  it is important that you see your physician right away.   There are a number of things that can be done to try and stop or delay premature delivery so it is crucial that you seek medical attention if you are pregnant and are experiencing the symptoms of premature delivery. 

More information is available at the March of Dimes www.marchofdimes.org.

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