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    Preterm Labour: 7 Great Ways To Lower Your Chances Of Giving Birth To Your Baby Prematurely

    Preterm labour occurs when you are between 20 and 36 weeks of pregnancy and it can be caused by a number of factors, some you have control over, and some cannot be controlled.

    The specific cause of preterm labour is not clear. Certain risk factors might increase its chances of occurring, and it can also occur in pregnant women with no known risk factors.

    However, there are ways to lower the chances of preterm labour. Here are some of them:

    1. Lower your chance of vaginal infections

    It is almost impossible to completely protect yourself against infections. Nonetheless, vaginal infections can lead to preterm labour, so you should do what you can to prevent this issue.

    • Stay clean by showering or bathing daily. However, skip beauty products that might irritate your vaginal area, such as bubble baths or feminine sprays.
    • Keep the area breathable. Skip clothing that is too tight, as that can make you hotter down there. Instead, wear breathable fabrics such as cotton, and keep it loose.
    • Skip tampons completely while pregnant. When using pads, use unscented ones without dyes

    2. Gain the recommended weight

    Women who do not gain the recommended weight during pregnancy are at a higher risk for preterm labour. How much you should gain depends entirely on your weight before pregnancy, though doctors sometimes make recommendations based on your body mass index, a measurement of your height versus your weight.

    Nutrition is very important. Make sure you are eating a balanced diet that includes protein, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains.

    Ask your doctor for a more comprehensive list if you are unsure about what you should eat

    Read also: Conceiving In Your 20s: Facts You Need To Know To Help You Have A Healthy Baby

    3. Stop smoking

    Smoking can increase the risk of your baby being born early. In addition, smoking may cause your baby to be underweight at birth because the chemicals from smoking may block some of the oxygen your baby needs.

    Secondhand smoking can be equally as harmful, so ask your partner to quit if he or she is the smoker

    4. Stop drinking alcohol

    Alcohol also increases your risk of having your baby early. If you carry your baby to term, she may still have problems due to your alcohol use, such as fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause deformities and disabilities in your baby

    5. Avoid drug use

    Abusing illegal drugs, such as cocaine, can lead to preterm labour. You should avoid illegal drugs anyway, because they can affect the health of your baby, and always talk to your doctor before starting on any medication, even over-the-counter medications or natural supplements

    6. Avoid stress

    Stress can lead to preterm labour. Although you can’t avoid stress altogether, you can skip situations where you know you will be stressed out. In addition, when you find yourself in a stressful situation you have no control over, learn to practice techniques to de-stress yourself.

    • Try deep breathing. Close your eyes. Focus completely on your breathing.
    • Use visualization. With this technique, you take a journey with your senses. Imagine yourself some place you’re happy and relaxed, such as the mountains. Think about the smell of the pines, the cool air on your skin, and the sounds of the birds. Imagine as many details as you can

    7. Wait between pregnancies

    Having pregnancies too close together can increase your chances of going into labour too early. Your body needs time to rest and recover. It is best to wait for at least a year and a half after your last birth before trying to get pregnant again.

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    Photo credit: Getty

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