Causes of premature birth

Causes of premature birth

Let us know about the causes of premature birth. As soon as you get the news of your pregnancy, you just start dreaming of holding your baby in your arms and cuddling him. In some cases, your baby may be born early or prematurely , so if your baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy , he or she is called a preemie .

If a baby is born before the 23rd week of pregnancy , it is impossible for him to survive outside the mother’s womb, but if a baby is born prematurely but after the 28th week of pregnancy, it is impossible for him to survive outside the mother’s womb. The survival rate of a child born after 10 days is up to 90 percent. Now, the question arises here that what is the reason for early birth of children? There are many reasons for preterm delivery. In the article below, we will discuss various common causes of premature baby birth.

What are the common causes of premature delivery?

Causes of premature birth
Causes of premature birth

Delivery that usually occurs three weeks before the baby’s due date is called premature labor and it has been observed that babies who are born early may have some medical problems. These can vary, which means that the earlier the baby is born, the greater the risk of various diseases. Below we will discuss some common causes of premature birth and why it happens:

1. Prenatal Disorder

There are certain pregnancy-related problems or prenatal disorders that can cause preterm labor such as:

  • Abnormalities in the cervix and uterus 

Sometimes, the abnormal shape of the uterus or in some cases, if the cervix dilates before delivery, may cause contractions to start early. Which may result in premature birth of your baby.

  • pre-eclampsia

This condition can occur due to high blood pressure and accumulation of protein in urine during pregnancy . If proper treatment is not received on time, pre-eclampsia can lead to premature delivery.

  • HELLP syndrome

This is a very rare and life-threatening disease, which consists of three conditions. Where H stands for hemolysis or breakdown of red blood cells, EL stands for elevated liver enzymes and LP stands for lowest level of platelets. When all these conditions occur together, it can lead to premature delivery.

  • vaginal infection

Bacterial vaginosis and other genital infections can also increase the chances of premature delivery.

2. History of pregnancy

Your pregnancy history can also cause preterm labor , including: 

  • miscarriage

If you have had a miscarriage in your previous pregnancy , your chances of having a premature delivery increase and if the miscarriage had happened later in the pregnancy , the risk is even higher.

  • abortion

If you had opted for an abortion , then the risk of preterm delivery increases and if you get pregnant again within six months of the abortion, the risk can increase significantly.

  • previous preterm delivery

If your previous delivery was also premature, then there is a greater possibility that your current delivery may also be premature. This also increases the chances of your child being born underdeveloped or the child may even die.

3 . Being pregnant with twins or multiples

If you are pregnant with twins or more, then your chances of preterm delivery increase. It is commonly seen that about 60% of twins and 90% of triplets are born prematurely. While singletons are born at about 39 weeks, twins are born at about 36 weeks, triplets at about 32 weeks and quadruplets at about 30 weeks. If you’re pregnant with multiples, your doctor should closely monitor your health, as with multiples, your gestational age may be shorter.

4. Having a family history of premature birth

Family history and genetics also play a very important role in deciding whether you will give birth to a premature baby or not. If there is a family history of premature babies, which may include a preemie sibling, or you yourself were a preemie, this may also affect your delivery. 

5. Age

Apart from the reasons mentioned above, another factor that can increase your chances of having a preterm delivery is your age. If you are a young mother and your age is less than 17 years, the risk of premature delivery is higher and this risk increases during the second delivery. Along with this, if your age is 35 years or more, then your chances of having a preemie baby increases. The risk can increase significantly after crossing the age of 40 . In such a situation, if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, your chances of premature delivery also increase.

6. Stress during pregnancy

Stress is not at all good for our body and proves to be extremely harmful during pregnancy. Whenever you are under stress during pregnancy, your body releases hormones called cortisol and epinephrine, along with this they also help in releasing corticotrophin hormone. Corticotrophin increases the levels of estriol and prostaglandin in the body. All these hormones can have a negative effect on your body and cause your delivery to be premature. Therefore, it is important for a mother-to-be to be healthy not only physically but also mentally .

7 . Less spacing between pregnancies

Your body goes through many changes during pregnancy. In such a situation, due to the weakness in the body after delivery and repeated breastfeeding , the body completely loses its essential nutrients, so if you are planning to give birth to another child,If you are pregnant, it is very important to heal and recover your body first, which simply means preparing yourself completely before the second delivery. If you conceive too soon after your previous delivery, your body may not be fully prepared to handle a baby. This also happens because the reproductive system may not be ready to support the new baby and thus premature delivery may occur. If you are thinking of getting pregnant again, it is recommended that you wait for at least one and a half years (18 months) before conceiving again.

8 . Alcohol and smoking

When you become pregnant, you are expected to adopt various lifestyle changes that are essential for a healthy pregnancy, while alcohol and smoking need to be cut out of your lifestyle. This can lead to premature birth and a host of complications to your pregnancy or your baby, such as low birth weight , complications with the placenta , and in some cases, death of the baby. Not only active smoking but passive smoking is also dangerous during pregnancy .

Here are some factors that may increase your chances of preterm delivery. There can be many other reasons as well and sometimes medical complications can arise due to premature delivery. If you are pregnant and are at risk of preterm delivery, then definitely tell your doctor about your risk, so that he can keep a close eye on your health. Also, they can take care of most of the complications of premature delivery and provide proper medical care and help.