What You Can Do to Help Prevent Premature Birth

A preterm birth, any birth that occurs before 37 weeks gestation, can put your baby at risk of serious health problems. A healthy pregnancy is your way to prevent preterm birth.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Go to all of your prenatal medical appointments to ensure that you and your baby are healthy.
  • Don’t smoke , drink alcohol or take illicit drugs. Ask your healthcare provider what medicines you can safely take while pregnant.
  • Ask your healthcare provider how much weight you should gain during pregnancy and what, if anything, you need to do to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Seek treatment for any chronic health conditions you may have, including thyroid problems, diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • Protect yourself from infection. Wash your hands after using the bathroom or blowing your nose. Get a flu shot. Don’t eat raw meat or raw fish. If you have a cat, have someone else clean the litter box to avoid contact with bacteria in the cat’s waste.
  • Reduce your stress. Exercise, eat a healthy diet, lean on family and friends for help and support. Talk with your boss if you need to lower stress at work.

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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