To learn more about prematurity, go to What is Prematurity?
In this article, I want to talk about the leading causes of premature childbirth.
You have to understand that many premature births are due to a medical decision to prevent risks for the mother or baby. They are not due to natural causes. When the final decision is made to deliver prematurely, it is because the benefits outweigh the costs. It relies on the reasonable judgement of the health professionals that are present and good practice guides. Of course, other premature births occur unannounced.
Potential causes of premature birth associated with the baby:
- Delayed growth: tobacco due, placental detachment, bleeding
- Congenital malformation of the baby which requires removing it from the uterus before term to provide appropriate care
Potential causes of premature birth associated with the mother:
- Twin pregnancy (distention of the uterus)
- The age of the mother can be a factor that increases premature births (under 20 or over 40)
- Premature spontaneous rupture of the amniotic sac
- Cervix incompetence which opens too fast, predisposing delivery before term
- Mother’s condition – diabetes or other
- Preeclampsia (pregnancy hypertension, swelling and protein in urine)
- If the mother has chorioamnionitis or other infections that can provoke early labour
Causes associated with an accident:
- Severe or traumatic impact, fall
- Emotional shock
To continue reading, go to The Difference Between Term and Premature Childbirth.