Are You at Risk for a Premature Baby?

APPROXIMATELY 1 in 10 babies are born Prematurely14,16

Take the quiz below to find out if you have any risk factors for premature birth

Check any of the following that apply to you:

Sera Prognostic's PreTRM® test can give you an early assessment of your risk of delivering too soon. Remember, even if you don’t have risk factors - premature birth can happen to anyone. In fact, while the biggest risk factor is a previous premature baby, up to 50% of premature births happen to women with no risk factors!1 And 40% of preterm births happen to first-time Moms!31

If you are at higher risk, the good news is enhanced care can begin early to address your risk of having a premature baby. There are premature birth care programs that have been studied in selected groups of pregnant women and have shown some benefit to prolong pregnancy,1, 8-11, 18-30 such as:

  • Cervical length screening — some women who are at higher risk of delivering their baby prematurely may benefit from routine cervical length screening. A shortened cervix is an indication that the process of delivering your baby may be starting—before you have any symptoms of labor. This may provide time for additional interventions to help keep your baby growing inside.
  • Cervical cerclage — this is a ‘stitch’ put into the cervix to help keep it closed and help prevent babies being miscarried or born too soon.
  • Cervical pessary — a pessary is a small, ring-shaped device placed around the cervix to provide support—it’s like the outer, solid ring of a diaphragm.
  • Progesterone — progesterone is hormone that helps support pregnancy. There are several formulations of progesterone that have been shown to prolong pregnancy. One is used for women with a previous premature birth. Progesterone should be administered according to professional guidelines.
  • ‘Pregnancy Centering’ — this is an increasingly popular way for women to get prenatal care. After the initial prenatal visit, women meet in groups of 8-12 moms, with their care provider, and share hopes and concerns, and get support for physical, emotional and medical issues. Groups meet every 2-4 weeks beginning at 12-16 weeks of pregnancy, for up to 10 visits or until babies are born.
  • Stress reduction — Stress is linked with premature delivery. There are free support services available in most communities to help pregnant women reduce stress or receive more social support. Exercise, especially pregnancy yoga, can also help reduce stress.
  • Stop smoking — quitting is hard. If you need help, talk to your doctor about short-term use of a nicotine patch. Many communities also have free support programs to help people stop smoking.

 

So make sure you know the signs and symptoms of premature labor. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the symptoms!

Knowledge is power

Knowing that your baby may deliver prematurely gives you the power to prepare and to seek extra care for your pregnancy with the goal of giving your baby the best start in life. So talk to your doctor about premature birth and knowing your individual risk with the PreTRM test. Click here for a Doctor Discussion Guide.