How to Decrease Your Risk of Preterm Labor

Although you might not be able to avoid all the risk factors, here are steps you can take to reduce your risk of preterm labor.
  1. Attend all prenatal appointments and carefully consider your caregiver’s suggestions. Continue treatment for chronic conditions.
  2. Eat well during pregnancy and take any prescribed supplements. Try to reach your suggested weight before becoming pregnant and avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy.
  3. Get screened for infections. If any are detected, have them treated.
  4. Avoid smoking, secondhand smoke, alcohol, and hazardous substances.
  5. Limit strenuous activities and ask others for help when necessary.
  6. Decrease job or life stresses as much as possible. Report any abuse and increase your emotional support from trusted friends and family.

Excerpted from: Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn

© copyright 2010 by Parent Trust for Washington Children with permission from its publisher Meadowbrook Press.