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Premature birth is the birth of a baby before the end of the nine-month pregnancy term. Medically referred to preemies, these babies are often at risk of additional complications like hearing or vision problems, delays in development, or cerebral palsy.
The primary symptoms of premature birth include excessive vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, fluid leaking from the vagina, or uterine contractions that are less than ten minutes apart. While there is no definite cause for premature birth, women who suffer from obesity, PCOS, diabetes, anorexia, or high blood pressure are often considered at risk.
According to the March of Dimes Multicenter Prematurity and Prevention Study, carrying twins or triplets can also trigger premature labor. This is why expectant mothers are often hospitalized or put on bed rest a few weeks before their due date. According to medical professionals, the risks of infant mortality is far higher in drastically shorter pregnancies.
Women with a shorter or weaker cervix are also at increased risk of premature labor. This can also affect expectant mothers who suffer from clinical depression or severe anxiety. Antibiotics, progesterone, and cervical cerclage (better known as cervical stitch) are often used to lower the risks of premature birth.