Can You Prevent Preterm Labor Naturally? An Expert Explains

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During my second pregnancy, I had to go on bedrest for a few weeks because I was showing signs of preterm labor. It was a scary time and I wondered, did I do something wrong? Are there strategies I could have employed early on in my pregnancy to not find myself in this situation? It’s really heartbreaking to find yourself worrying about your baby’s health and it’s easy to blame yourself, but can you prevent preterm labor naturally?

My OB-GYN told me when she put me on bed rest that sometimes, preterm labor is just a thing that happens, and that I’d done all I could to ensure a healthy pregnancy — but I still felt tremendous guilt about it. Granted, I didn’t actually end up giving birth early, but those weeks leading up to my daughter’s birth were some of the most stressful in my life.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every 10 births in the United States happens before week 37, which is considered full-term. The risks for preterm birth are high. The baby could have breathing, hearing or vision problems, low birth weight, developmental delays, and the baby is at a greater risk for cerebral palsy. Not to mention, the unthinkable risk of infant death hangs like a pall over premature deliveries.

CDC

I spoke with Certified Nurse Midwife, Regina Hamilton, CNM, DNP, to find out how to prevent preterm birth naturally, or if that’s even possible. She tells Romper, “Preterm birth isn’t inevitable, but it may feel that way if you’ve gone through it.” She adds that some women will go into labor early no matter…

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