November is National Prematurity Awareness Month. According to the CDC, about 1 in 10 babies are born preterm. In the US that is almost 400,000 babies born premature each year. These babies are born before 37 weeks and can have health problems throughout their lives.
Prematurity is the leading cause of infant mortality and while the underlying cause of many preterm deliveries is unknown, we do know of some risk factors that can contribute. Risk factors include having a history of a preterm delivery, being pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets), ethnicity, age of mother, smoking, and short interval of time between pregnancies. There are also conditions during pregnancy that can place you at a higher risk such as urinary tract infections, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Babies born prematurely can have a variety of health problems that can occur initially and/or show up later in life. Sometimes these babies need to spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) until they are stable enough to go home.
Preconception consultations are important to discuss your health history and potential risks in pregnancy that could increase your risk of preterm delivery. Here at Capital Women’s Care, we want to help you prepare for and have a healthy pregnancy and baby – contact our office today to set up your preconception visit!