Preventing Prematurity

Healthy Habits

Taking good care of yourself is the simplest way to reduce your risk of premature delivery. If you're pregnant, attend all prenatal appointments so your doctor can detect potential problems.

You should also strive to maintain a well-balanced diet to gain the recommended amount of pregnancy weight (25 to 35 pounds for women who begin pregnancy at a normal weight). In fact, studies show that women who have a healthy weight gain in pregnancy are less likely to have a premature baby than women who gain too much or too little. Reducing the amount of stress in your life can also be good for baby; research shows that high levels of stress may increase your chance of having a premature baby. Women who smoke, drink, or use illegal drugs may also have a higher risk of delivering prematurely.

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