Prematurity Awareness Month: 5 Tips for Prematurity Prevention

world prematurity day mod.jpgNovember is Prematurity Awareness Month, as designated by the March of Dimes, and November 17 was World Prematurity Day. Families and organizations around the world are celebrating life and life saving measures for babies born too early. More than 15 million babies around the world are born prematurely every year, and prematurity is the leading cause of death in children under five years of age. The good news is that 75% of those deaths can be prevented with cost-effective interventions. If you or someone you know and love is expecting a child, here's what you need to know about preventing prematurity:

1. Begin prenatal care as soon as you find out you are pregnant, and attend appointments as scheduled

2. Choose a care provider who practices evidence-based care 

3. Avoid practices linked to prematurity, like:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Street drugs
  • Excessive stress

4. Be proactive with healthy habits known to reduce prematurity risk, like:

  • Exercise
  • Treating chronic health conditions
  • Maintaining healthy weight
  • Protecting yourself from infections by washing hands, avoiding raw meat, having safe sex, and avoiding cat feces

5. Unless medically necessary, do not choose induction or c-section prior to 39 weeks. 

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