What can I do to reduce my risk of having a premature baby?
While it is true that many women without any risk factors will have a preterm baby, there are some things you can do to reduce the chance it will happen to you:
- Get prenatal care as soon as you think you're pregnant and go to every appointment. Go even if you feel fine.
- If you smoke, stop smoking. It's best to stop before you get pregnant. If you can't stop, try to cut down. Avoid secondhand smoke.
- Don't drink alcohol.
- If you use drugs or herbal remedies or supplements that are not prescribed by your health care provider, stop using them. It's best to stop before you get pregnant. Talk to your health care provider about prescription medications you are taking.
- Try to reduce stress. Ask friends and family for help. Rest and relax whenever you can.
- If you're in an abusive relationship, talk to someone. Abuse often gets worse during pregnancy. Do what you need to do to protect yourself and your baby.
- If you feel burning or pain when you urinate, you may have an infection. Call your health care provider.
- Know the signs of preterm labor and what to do if you have any of them.
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