Preterm or premature labor is defined as defined as labor that happens before 37 weeks. Babies born before 37 weeks can have lifelong or life-threatening problems for your baby (March of Dimes). Some of these issues are lung immaturity that can lead to apnea, respiratory distress syndrome, jaundice, anemia as well as other infections. According to the March of Dimes, 1 in 10 babies is born prematurely in the United States each year.
Are you at risk?
Studies are not clear on what exactly causes preterm labor. But there are some risk factors that make your chances higher of suffering from preterm labor.
What are the signs and symptoms of preterm labor?
Good Nutrition is key to a healthy baby.
Eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and lean protein are essential. Limiting the amount of sugars and refined foods are important for good health for both mother and baby
Hydration from a clean water sources is essential. Make sure to put a slice of lemon, ginger or cucumber in your water. Drinking plain water can make you nauseous.
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Herbs and vitamins that can help
Cramp bark is an herb that helps to relax the uterine muscles and help to reduce the chances of preterm labor.
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If you are ever in doubt of any of your signs or symptoms, call your midwife right away. A simple phone call can help alleviate any stress or anxiety you may be feeling. Check with your midwife before starting any herbs or medication.
Frye, A. Holistic Midwifery A Comprehensive Textbook for Midwives in Homebirth Practice. Labrys Press. 1998
Gladstar, R. Herbal Healing for Women. Fireside Publishing. 1993.
March of Dimes
Christina Bordeau is a midwifery graduate from Midwives College of Utah, receiving her bachelor's degree in the science of midwifery. Her passion has been enabling mothers to take their power back and to create the birth of their dreams eliminate the fear of childbirth.