Expectant Mothers Beware– New Studies Show Premature Births Linked to Increased Childhood Death Rates and Barrenness

The Journal of the American Medical Association released a study which found that premature children have higher death rates during childhood, and these risks continue to increase with age. In addition, the study showed that these preemies were more likely to be childless in adulthood.

The study followed 1.2 million Norwegian’s births over many decades. More than 60,000 of these Norwegian children were born premature. These findings emphasize the importance in preventing premature birth. Dr. Alan Fleishman of the March of Dimes states that “in the United States, there is an epidemic of pre-term birth, and prevention is absolutely critical. ” Research shows that the prevention of premature birth includes hormone treatment for women with a history of premature delivery, prenatal care and nutrition, and careful OB/GYN monitoring of patients. In addition, doctors should avoid the inducing of labor unless medically necessary. Finally, the reduction of In Vitro pregnancies will also reduce the risk of premature birth.

Expectant mothers should also be proactive before and during pregnancy to protect their unborn babies. Recent studies show folic acid reduces the chances of pre-term labor. Pregnant women are encouraged to take pre-natal vitamins that include folic acid and eat foods such as cereal and whole-grain products. In addition, expectant mothers should avoid recreation, as well as unapproved prescription drugs during pregnancy. Finally, it is important for all expectant mothers to keep regular appointments with an OB/GYN during pregnancy. In most cases, regular visits to a doctor will allow for early detection of medical problems or complications that could contribute to premature birth.

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