To help reduce your risk of preterm labor and delivery, do the following:

  • Get good prenatal care. See your doctor before trying to get pregnant. Then, see your doctor regularly during your pregnancy. Go to all your prenatal appointments even if you feel fine.
  • If you smoke, stop . It is best to stop smoking before you try to get pregnant. Also avoid second-hand smoke.
  • Don’t drink alcohol while you’re trying to get pregnant or during pregnancy.
  • Do not use illegal drugs.
  • If you take prescription drugs, ask your doctor if they are safe before or during pregnancy.
  • If you use herbal supplements, stop them before trying to get pregnant. Check with your doctor on the safety of supplements before using them.
  • Identify and reduce stress .
  • Rest as much as possible.
  • Don’t skip meals. Eat a well-balanced diet .
  • If you are in an abusive relationship, seek help.
  • Get treatment for any infections.
  • If you feel burning or pain when you urinate, tell your doctor. You may have an infection.
  • Learn how to recognize contractions and check for them regularly. Record the contractions on a chart.
  • Avoid stimulation of your nipples. This stimulation can cause contractions.
  • Avoid sex if orgasm or intercourse causes contractions.

To reduce the risk of preterm labor progressing to preterm delivery, learn the signs of preterm labor. Call your doctor immediately if you have any signs of preterm labor or any unusual feelings.