If your due date is weeks or even months away, you've probably got lots of time left to anticipate the happy day. However, for some women, delivery comes a lot sooner than they expect.
While health care for preemies is improving, taking steps to prevent preterm labor and its complications for your baby is vital. The causes of preterm labor aren't yet understood, but the latest research suggests that it may be triggered by the body's natural response to certain bacterial infections such as these:
Contact your doctor if any of these signs of preterm labor occur before 37 weeks' gestation:
While prematurity is common, there are a number of steps you and your doctor can take to prevent it or lessen its complications in your baby. And the prognosis for the littlest infants seems to get better all the time.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.