5 Ways to Prevent Early Labor (Slideshow)
It's best — and healthiest — for babies not to be born before they're due. Learn what you can do to prevent early labor.
5 Ways to Prevent Early Labor
When babies are born too early, it can lead to health problems. Moms‑to‑be should do everything they can to carry their baby for at least 37 weeks. Here are 5 ways to prevent early labor.
1. See your doctor early and often
• Call as soon as you know you're pregnant.
• Go to all prenatal appointments.
• Get screening tests to check your health and your baby's.
2. Prevent infection
• Use condoms during sex.
• Wash your hands often.
• Don't change kitty litter.
• Avoid raw meat, fish, and unpasteurized cheese.
3. Protect your baby's health and well‑being
• Don't drink alcohol, smoke, or use illegal drugs. Get help to quit, if needed.
• Take care of diabetes or other health problems.
• Leave an abusive relationship. Many groups can help.
4. Take care of your body
• Eat a variety of healthy foods and drink lots of water.
• Take prenatal vitamins.
• Exercise if the doctor says it's OK.
• Aim for gaining about 25‑35 pounds throughout pregnancy.
5. Take care of your mind
• Do yoga, take walks, or do other things to relax.
• Tell your doctor if you feel anxious or depressed.
• Talk to a counselor or therapist about your worries.