A normal pregnancy takes about 40 weeks, measured from the first day of the last period (38 weeks after fertilization). Uterine contractions and dilation, which is the opening of the cervix, before the 37th week of pregnancy is called premature or preterm delivery. The problem with premature delivery is that the baby will be born prematurely and his or her biological organ systems will not be fully developed.
This means a child may not be able to function and sustain life without medical support, now days the neonatal intensive care units are available of babies born before the 37th week of pregnancy. Premature babies may have more health problems and may need to stay in the hospital longer than babies born normally. It is important to know about early premature delivery and it can be stopped or delayed, because one in three premature babies delivered for medical reason pose risk for both mother and baby. This can provide time for medical practitioner to give medicine that can help the baby, and to treat conditions causing premature delivery.
To avoid premature delivery, need to know warning signs like backache, which usually will be in your lower back and this may be constant or come and go, but it won’t ease even if you change positions or do something else for comfort, contractions every 10 minutes or more often, cramping in your lower abdomen or menstrual-like cramps. This can feel like gas pains that may come with fluid leaking from vagina, flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Also, increased pressure in pelvis or vagina, increased vaginal discharge and bleeding are symptoms to be noted and consulted with doctor for advice.
Some basic care to prevent premature delivery are quit smoking, eat properly, get plenty of rest, learn ways to reduce stress avoid strenuous work and avoid overexertion when exercising during pregnancy; consult your doctor regularly during pregnancy. Apart from this, pregnant women need improved care before, between and during pregnancies to reduce preterm birth rates. Healthy foods, good habits and minimal workouts would help to prevent premature complications.