Reducing Your Risk for Preterm Labor and Delivery
by Karen Schroeder Kassel, MS, RD, MEd
There are steps that you can take before you become pregnant and during your pregnancy to reduce your risk preterm labor and delivery.
Take Care of Your Health
Eat a Healthy Diet and Stay Active
Make Lifestyle Changes
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Learn the Signs of Preterm Labor
To reduce the risk of preterm labor progressing to preterm delivery, learn the signs of preterm labor. Call your doctor right away if you have any signs of preterm labor.
High Risk Women
Women with a history of preterm births may need to have extra care to prevent preterm labor. Your doctor may recommend progesterone therapy during pregnancy or having a cerclage placed.
Abuse during pregnancy. March of Dimes website. Available at: http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/stayingsafe_abuse.html. Updated October 2008. Accessed April 23, 2013.
Preterm labor. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.or.... Accessed April 23, 2013.
Prevention of preterm labor and preterm birth. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated January 16, 2013 . Accessed April 23, 2013.
Reduce your risk of preterm labor and birth. March of Dimes website. Available at: http://www.marchof.... Updated September 2012. Accessed April 23, 2013.
7/21/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: McCowan LM, Dekker GA, Chan E, et al. Spontaneous preterm birth and small for gestational age infants in women who stop smoking early in pregnancy: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2009;338:b1081.
Last reviewed June 2013 by Andrea Chisholm
Last Updated: 6/24/2013