There are various stages of preterm delivery and the risks of survival of the baby increases with less time in the mother’s womb. A premature baby can be born anywhere between 28 to 37 weeks. If a pregnant woman goes into labour in or before 20 weeks of pregnancy then it is considered a miscarriage. Premature babies are born before they are completely physically developed inside the womb. They are often prone to health problems. Some of these babies do not survive for long after birth.
Premature birth rates in India are increasing rapidly. But there is nothing to worry about. With advanced medical technology, the survival rates of premature babies have also gone up. In India, 13 percent of all children are born premature in a year.
A pregnant woman’s body might go into labour before time because of many reasons, some of which are:
- Overweight or underweight during or before pregnancy
- Consumption of alcohol, smoking or drugs during pregnancy
- Presence of a certain genital tract infection
- An excessively large uterus due to twins or multiples can cause preterm labour
- Abnormalities of the uterus or cervix
- Severe anaemia during pregnancy
- Severe emotional stress related to any traumatic experience can also trigger labour
- Woman below 17 or above 35 stand the risk of preterm labour
- Inadequate gap between two pregnancies
- Sometimes extraordinary circumstances lead to forced labour. For example, if a doctor diagnoses that the baby is not growing as per need in the uterus, or has some kind of abnormality, then the doctor may decide to induce labour or perform a C-section before 40 weeks of pregnancy.
Preterm labour does not necessarily mean that you are going to deliver. Increased pelvic pressure, menstrual cramps, continuous back pain, vaginal bleeding, fluids leaking form the vagina are some of the symptoms of preterm labour. It is important to recognise these symptoms and consult your gynecologist right away.