A woman is not only beautiful, but, a woman is a companion to man given by God Almighty. She is a symbol of love and a pillar of strength. Her life is full of ups and downs; which affects her biological and psychological mechanism. She tries to bear all the troublesome phases without any apprehension. But in the middle of all, news of pregnancy brings immense happiness and radiance in her trifling world. Where the good news enlightens her body and soul, it also lands many doubts and jitters that continuously trigger her mind. Every expecting woman is concerned about her baby and the risk factors that could hamper its growth. The risk factors are many; including abnormal mental and physical growth of an embryo, miscarriage and preterm labor and premature birth.
These days, preterm labor and premature birth is the major menace fretting the couples during initial two trimesters of pregnancy. Preterm labor, also known as premature labor is a stage when a pregnant woman starts receiving regular contractions that cause cervix to open before she reaches 37 weeks of pregnancy or if water breaks early, or if cervix opens prematurely with no contractions which is known as Cervical Insufficiency. Premature labor can lead to an early birth which is termed as premature delivery. At this stage a foetus is not fully developed and its premature birth develops numerous risk factors that could affect its health. Therefore, the longer baby gets to grow inside mother- right up to the due date- the less likely he or she is to have problems after birth.
There are various indications of preterm or premature labor that one needs to take care of during the initial stages of pregnancy. These symptoms include:
- Fluid leaking from vagina
- Cramping in lower abdomen or menstrual-like cramps. These can feel like gas pains that may come with diarrhea
- Bacterial infections like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
- Backache, mostly in lower portion adjoining hip bone. This may be constant or come and go, but if it won’t ease even after changing positions, it is better to consult gynecologist
- Flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Contractions every 10 minutes or more often
- Vaginal bleeding, including light bleeding
- Increased pressure in your pelvis or vagina
- Certain non-uterine infections, such as a kidney infection, pneumonia, and appendicitis, also raise risk of preterm birth
So stay cautious if you face any of these warning signs during pregnancy. These could be the signs of preterm labor.
Now the question must be striking in your mind that what should be done to prevent preterm labor and premature birth. If you are worrying about the same, then stay relaxed because I have good news for you. Here are the following measures that you need to adhere to avoid preterm labor and premature delivery:
Do Proper Exercise
During pregnancy, women should take off little time from her schedule for some exercise. Though it is always advisable to do only gentle physical activities during pregnancy, but exercise is very important to maintain the muscle strength and power. Yoga perhaps is one of the best activities for both physical and mental wellbeing of expecting women. It also reduces risk of high blood pressure, thyroid, diabetes and uterine infections.
Keep a Check on your Meals
Balanced meal is very important to kick in essential nutrients for an expecting mother. The splendid formation of a baby depends upon the quality and quantity of nutrients she take in. According to experts pregnant women should eat 5 meals a day regularly (3 meals and 2 snacks) instead of 3 meals as normal. Eating many small meals every day will help to reduce the morning sickness and also reduce the risk of preterm labor. Further it’s important to have a breakfast. Having breakfast also guarantees that your baby will grow healthy, have normal cognitive development, and reduce the risk of low birth weight and birth defects.
Retain Personal Hygiene
Pregnant women have to pay attention to hygiene to avoid risk of urinary tract infections. The severe infections may cause early fetal membranes rupture, resulting in preterm labor. The tenure of pregnancy increases excretion, so pregnant women must use cotton panties, tampons and avoid washing vagina too many times to avoid washing out the mucus which protects the vagina.
If pregnant women are urged to urinate, they should not scruple because this would lead them to be very susceptible to cystitis. When the bladder is inflamed, it will stimulate and cause the uterine contractions. Moreover, fasting urine can also increase the chances of urinary tract infections- a cause of uterine contractions which lead to preterm labor.
Quit Smoking and Alcohol
Pregnant women have to quit smoking, alcohol and tobacco as they are harmful triggers for healthy pregnancy. They are addictive ingredients harming women’s health, their babies’ brain and their normal growth. Along with preterm labor and delivery, they also contribute to birth defects, low birth rates, malfunction of embryo’s respiratory system and can also lead to cancer.
Take Multivitamin Tablets
The vitamins and minerals present in the food are not enough for expecting women. Hence their body need much more than what merely food contains. So ladies you need to consume a tablet of multivitamin to not only improve your overall health when you are pregnant but also to reduce the rate of preterm birth.
Mediate and Stay Stress Free
Meditation is a handy tool to prevent stress and anxiety during pregnancy. Pregnancy brings with it excitement as well as lots of changes in the body and mind. Meditation can work best for you at this time. It is a healing process in itself which helps increase the level of energy, especially at a time when you are feeling lightheaded and low.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking 10-12 glasses of water keeps body well-hydrated all the time. It also helps in the proper supply of nutrients to each and every part of women’s body. Pregnant women must drink 2-3 glasses of water in the morning as it helps to remove toxins from the body.
Practice the ‘Polar Bear’ Position
Posture plays a vital role throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Doctors suggest women to practice the polar bear position that relaxes their cervix by removing pressure from it. This position helps to move the baby away from the cervix and therefore, reduces chances of preterm labor and premature delivery.
Maintain Proper Body Weight
Women who are obese at the time of pregnancy are at greater risk of experiencing problems, such as miscarriage, gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. It’s crucial for moms-to-be to know what a healthy pregnancy weight is and what you can do to help yourself in the months before you give birth. On the other hand, gaining too little weight during pregnancy can also increase the chance of a premature birth and a baby with a low birth weight. That is why it is must to maintain healthy weight especially during pregnancy.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Some studies suggest that by practicing good oral hygiene, pregnant women can reduce the risk of gum disease, a factor leading to premature labor and low birth weight in babies.
These are the most effective ways to prevent preterm labor and premature birth naturally. Hope that you can make use of all these tips to have a healthy pregnancy.
Feature Image Source: pbin.org.uk