Dr Vijay Kumar

Premature Birth - Symptoms and causes

Catagory: Children   Author: Dr T.V Vijay Kumar

Premature Birth

An average pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks if everything is well. However, the labour may start much earlier or much later than the expected time owing to a number of variables. Premature, or preterm, birth is defined as when labour starts before 37 weeks of pregnancy.



The newborn is categorised according to when they are born as follows:

Born between 34 and 36 weeks gestation, late preterm.


Preterm: 24 to 34 weeks gestation.


Extremely premature birth: occurring prior to 25 weeks of pregnancy.


Premature birth causes:


Premature birth’s precise reason isn’t usually known. Premature labour is caused by a number of causes, though. Some of these elements include:

  • Premature birth is more likely to occur in women under the ages of 17 and 35.
  • having past preterm delivery in the past.
  • Preterm birth is frequently the outcome of twin or multiple pregnancies.
  • Premature birth is also more likely in malnourished mothers.
  • women who have long-term illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • being overweight or underweight when expecting.
  • smoking, abusing drugs or drinking too much alcohol while pregnant.
  • issues with the placenta, uterus, or cervix.
  • Trauma can be physical, caused by an accident, or of another type.
  • Premature labour is more likely to occur in women who have previously had miscarriages or abortions.
  • excessive mental, emotional, or physical strain.
  • Preterm birth is frequently caused by infections, particularly those in the lower genital tract.
  • Premature labour is more likely for women who conceive through in-vitro fertilisation than for other women.
  • less than six months must pass between two consecutive pregnancies.

Premature birth prevention


An infant that is born prematurely is in serious danger of both immediate and long-term health problems. In reality, when medical facilities were not yet built, preterm delivery was the main cause of baby fatalities. Even though certain risk factors are beyond one’s control, by implementing the following advice, one can dramatically lower the chance of premature birth:

  • Stop smoking before being pregnant or as soon as you can once you are.
  • Avoid using drugs or drinking alcohol while you are pregnant.
  • Inform your doctor about the drugs you take before getting pregnant since some medications might damage the developing foetus and cause an early birth.
  • While pregnant, keep your weight in check.
  • Eat healthfully and stay away from junk food.
  • When pregnant, stay away from physically demanding or stressful jobs.

To avoid infections, practice good physical and interpersonal hygiene.