In 2014, nearly 14% of babies born in Florida were born prematurely, or born before the 37th week of pregnancy. Since premature babies can have immediate and long-term problems with their breathing, digestion, hearing and brain function, pregnant moms want to do all they can to help prevent having their baby early. There’s no way to prevent premature birth in 100% of pregnancies, but there are many things a woman can do to significantly increase her chances of carrying her baby to full-term, including:
- Eating healthy foods
- Exercising regularly, such as walking and prenatal yoga
- Getting regular prenatal care
- Not smoking
- Avoiding all alcohol and illegal drugs
- Always checking with her midwife or physician before taking any over-the-counter or prescription medication
Every week beyond the 37th that a baby stays in the womb gives the baby’s brain, lungs organs and systems a chance to develop just a little bit more, increasing the chances that the baby will be able to thrive outside the womb immediately after birth.