Reducing Your Risk for Preterm Labor and Delivery
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.
- 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.
Preterm labor. University of Michigan Health System website. Available at: http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/wha/wha_ptl_crs.htm . Accessed September 23, 2005.
What can I do to reduce my risk of having a premature baby? March of Dimes website. Available at: http://www.marchofdimes.com/prematurity/13454_5811.asp . Accessed September 23, 2005.
Last reviewed June 2007 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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