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World Prematurity Day: November 17

November 19, 2019

Each year, 1.5 million babies are born premature (before the 37th week of pregnancy), and this rate is on the rise.  More than 1 million of these babies die.  Being born too soon can cause many problems for baby. He may have difficulty with breathing, eating, and staying warm.  He is also more prone to infection.  Babies who are born premature often have to be taken care of in a special place, like a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).

Recently, Cari and Jordan Teasdale delivered their son earlier than expected.  Jevon Edward Teasdale was born at 36 weeks on November 14, 2019.  Jevon needed some help with breathing, but after a few days was ready to go home to meet his big sisters Joanna and Josalyn!

Many times, it is unknown what causes preterm labor.  If you are pregnant, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of preterm labor.  Notify your healthcare provider if you experience any of these:

  • Change in your vaginal discharge (watery, mucus or bloody) or more vaginal discharge than usual
  • Pressure in your pelvis or lower belly, like your baby is pushing down
  • Constant low, dull backache
  • Belly cramps with or without diarrhea
  • Regular or frequent contractions that make your belly tighten like a fist. The contractions may or may not be painful.
  • Your water breaks

Take steps to reduce your risk of preterm labor.  Get to a healthy weight before pregnancy and gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy. Don’t smoke, drink alcohol, use street drugs or abuse prescription drugs. During pregnancy, go to all your prenatal care checkups, even if you’re feeling fine. Get treated for chronic health conditions, like high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and thyroid problems.
Protect yourself from infections. Reduce your stress. Wait at least 18 months between giving birth and getting pregnant again.

If you would like more information about Premature Birth, please visit marchofdimes.org