Giving birth before 37 weeks is defined as preterm or premature birth. Approximately one in 10 pregnancies results in preterm birth. This is the most important cause of health problems and deaths in newborn babies.
The earlier a birth occurs, the greater the risk of problems developing in the baby. After all, as I always tell my patients, the best incubator for the baby is the mother’s womb.
So why does premature birth occur?
This issue has not been clearly clarified, but if a pregnant woman carries the risk factors given in the table below, the risk of preterm delivery increases.
- Conditions That İncrease The Risk Of Preterm Birth
- Having Previous Premature Birth
- Twin-Triplet Pregnancy
- Short Cervix
- Untreated Urinary Tract İnfections
- Pregnant Women Younger Than 18 Or Older Than 40
- Excess Amniotic Fluid
- Depression And Extreme Stress
- Abnormal Structure Of The Uterus
How can I recognize if my birth started early?
If your regular uterine contractions started before the 37th week, and the cervix was opened during your examination, it means preterm labor. If uterine contractions come every 5-10 minutes and you have 4-5 contractions in a row, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Is there a cure for preterm birth?
If preterm labor is diagnosed, the patient is hospitalized and uterine contractions are tried to be stopped for a while with some medications.
Rest in the hospital, intravenous fluids and monitoring of the progress of the action will be made.
In the meantime, in case of the birth of the baby, neonatal intensive care unit and a neonatal specialist should be available in the hospital where you are staying. Your doctor will plan these details.
Another step of the treatment is lung development needles. When you are hospitalized for premature birth, if the pregnancy is less than 34 weeks, you will receive two doses of fetal-lung-enhancing injections, 12 or 24 hours apart, to develop your baby’s lungs. In this way, even if there is a premature birth, our baby will come out with better lungs.
I gave birth prematurely once, what happens in my next pregnancy?
This is a good question. Mothers who have previously given preterm birth have an increased risk of giving birth again when they become pregnant. For this reason, when you become pregnant again, your doctor will give you progesterone support from the 4th month of pregnancy, and will also be able to measure your cervical canal length and recommend suturing the cervix if necessary.
Prof. Dr. Yavuz Şimşek