What are the causes of prematurity?

Prematurity it is defined as giving birth to a baby before time. Specifically, before 37 weeks of gestation. A complete pregnancy corresponds to 40 weeks of gestation. Therefore, when there is a situation of prematurity, there is a certain risk.

It supposes more immaturity of all the organs and systems. As well increases the incidence of pathologies that complicate development. In this article we explain the types of prematurity and their causes.


Types of prematurity

When a baby is born, it can be premature (less than 37 weeks of gestation), full-term (37 to 42 weeks of gestation) or post-term (born after 42 weeks of gestation). But nevertheless, Within prematurity, we find:

  • Extreme premature: is one that is born before 28 weeks of gestation.
  • Newborn very premature. Born between 29 and 32 weeks of gestation.
  • Moderate prematurity: between 32 and 35 weeks of gestation.
  • Late preterm. Born between 35 and 37 weeks of gestation.

Most are born only a few weeks before and do not experience any problems related to their prematurity. But nevertheless, less weeks of gestation, there is greater risk of suffering serious and even life-threatening complications. Extreme prematurity can cause death in newborns.

In addition, premature babies have a higher risk of long-term problems. For example, related to developmental delay and learning disorders. However, Most children born prematurely grow without long-term difficulties.


Causes of prematurity

Avoid addictions to minimize the risks of premature birth.

The causes of prematurity are often unknown. But nevertheless, some have been identified risk factor's as:

  • Be a teenager or a woman over 40 years old.
  • Belonging to a low socioeconomic level. This causes prenatal care is not appropriate.
  • Being pregnant with twins, triplets or more.
  • A bad diet. Very thin women are more at risk of prematurity. Possibly, it occurs due to a decrease in uterine flow due to malnutrition. Obesity is also considered a risk factor. Adipose tissue produces inflammatory proteins that trigger spontaneous delivery.
  • Suffer infections during pregnancy. These include urinary tract infections and STDs.
  • Having already suffered a case of prematurity. It is the most important risk factor. The number of premature births and the gestational age in which these premature babies were born present the risk in the new gestation.
  • Possess heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Suffering from cervical insufficiency. It consists of the cervix beginning to dilate early.


In addition, other factors that increase the risk of prematurity are:

  • Consumption of toxic substances: like tobacco, cocaine or amphetamines.
  • Uterine factors. Uterine surgery, malformations or fibroids influence prematurity.
  • Complications of the current gestation: bleed in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, submit alterations in the volume of the amniotic fluid, premature rupture of membranes, et cetera.

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Symptoms of risk

There are a series of symptoms that should alert you if you are pregnant. Before them, or before any other problem, you must go to your doctor. In the first place, the fact of bleeding during the second or third trimester stands out. It can cause the membranes to rupture prematurely. Therefore, it can cause prematurity.

Second, if you suffer painful contractions sooner than expected. They can be a premature birth alarm. Similarly, if you lose fluid and do not know what it is. It could be amniotic fluid. It is also a symptom of premature rupture of membranes.

Tips to avoid being a premature mother

During pregnancy, a healthy lifestyle will help us avoid the risk factors associated with prematurity.

Although, as we have mentioned, the causes are not known, there are a series of recommendations to avoid prematurity. First of all, if you have already had a premature baby, you should wait 12 months to stay pregnant again.

It's advisable avoid tobacco and any toxic substances during pregnancy. In the same way, you must maintain adequate nutrition. The ideal is to correct malnutrition and anemia before pregnancy. It is also recommended to follow a diet low in fat and rich in omega-3 acids.

When labor begins long before the time, doctors administer drugs to the pregnant woman. Its purpose is to slow contractions or stop them. Also looking for accelerate the baby's lung development to avoid complications.

In conclusion

In recent years, prematurity rates have increased. It is due, among other things, to the increase in the age of the mother, as well as in cases of hypertension and diabetes. Also because the use of fertility treatments has increased. These, in turn, result in more multiple pregnancies.

Therefore, it is It is necessary to detect symptoms early and go to your doctor if you have any questions. In the same way, it is necessary to continue advancing scientifically to increase the hopes of the premature ones.


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