Mom: Know your risk for a premature baby

More than 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely. And, 50% of these premature babies are born to mothers with no obvious risk factors. Most women think having a premature baby will never happen to them. But it can happen to anyone.

There are some known factors that may be associated with having a preemie. Here are a few of the most common ones:

  • Have you had a previous premature birth—before 37 weeks?
  • Are you having multiples (twins, triplets, or more)?
  • Have you had a prior miscarriage?
  • Has someone in your family (sister, mother, or grandmother) had a preemie?
  • Has it been less than 18 months since your last pregnancy?
  • Are you 35 years old or older?
  • Are you 17 years old or younger?
  • Are you African American?
  • Do you have a lot of stress in your life, e.g., work long hours, money or family issues?
  • Do you have diabetes or high blood pressure?
  • Did you get pregnant through IVF (in vitro fertilization)?
  • Do you smoke?

Remember, even if you don’t have any of these factors, there’s still a chance that you could deliver your baby early…sometimes too early. Premature birth can happen to anyone.

The good news is there is a simple, accurate blood test, the PreTRMTM Test for Risk Management, that can help you determine your individual risk for preterm birth—it is based on protein patterns that are present early in your pregnancy.  And, there are things you and your doctor can do proactively to manage your risk.

Talk to your doctor about premature birth and your risk for THIS pregnancy. Remember to specifically mention any of the factors above that apply to you and your desire for the PreTRM test to know your individual risk.

Most importantly know the premature labor symptoms and call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the symptoms!

“Getting to 39 weeks is essential to give your baby the very best start in life. If you’re at risk for delivering early, there are proven interventions that can help make a difference.”

-Durlin Hickok, MD
Chief Medical Officer