There are steps that you can take before you become pregnant and during your pregnancy to reduce your risk preterm labor and delivery.
Take Care of Your Health
- Get good prenatal care. See your doctor before trying to get pregnant. See your doctor regularly during your pregnancy. Go to all your prenatal appointments, even if you feel fine.
- Get treatment for any infections. For example, if you feel burning or pain when you urinate, tell your doctor. You may have a bladder infection.
- If you take prescription drugs, ask your doctor if they are safe before or during pregnancy.
- If you use herbal supplements, stop them before trying to get pregnant. Check with your doctor on the safety of any supplements before using them.
Eat a Healthy Diet and Stay Active
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Do not skip meals.
- Stay active during your pregnancy. Your doctor can give you exercise guidelines.
Make Lifestyle Changes
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking increases the risk of pregnancy complications, like premature birth. If you quit smoking, your risk of premature birth becomes similar to that of mothers who are nonsmokers. This is just one of the many benefits of quitting.
- Avoid secondhand smoke.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are trying to get pregnant or during pregnancy.
- Do not use illegal drugs.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Learn the Signs of Preterm Labor
To reduce the risk of preterm labor progressing to preterm delivery, learn the signs of preterm labor. Call your doctor right away if you have any signs of preterm labor.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD; Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 04/2013 -
- Update Date: 04/23/2013 -