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Preventing Premature Birth (Topic Center)

Preventing Prematurity

It's best for babies to be born at full term. Here are 5 ways to help prevent early labor.

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  • Taking Care of Your Body

    Taking care of yourself is an important part of having a healthy pregnancy. Here's what you need to know.

    Staying healthy


    Sex and sleep

  • Taking Care of Your Mind

    Learn ways to relax and what to do if worries or anxiety take over.

    Your mental health

    Leaving an abusive partner

Prenatal Care

Going to the doctor regularly can help keep you healthy and lower your chances of having your baby early.

Prenatal Tests

Prenatal tests can tell how your baby is growing and help find any health problems early.

Learn about prenatal tests

First Trimester Tests

At your first visit, the doctor will confirm your pregnancy and check to see how your baby is developing.

Learn about tests in the 1st trimester

Second Trimester Tests

The second trimester is when many moms and dads "see" their babies for the first time on ultrasound.

Learn about tests in the 2nd trimester

Third Trimester Tests

In this trimester, you'll be offered more tests depending on your age, health, family medical history, and other things.

Learn about tests in the 3rd trimester

Prenatal Genetic Counseling

If your doctor thinks that genetic testing would be helpful, you may be referred to a genetic counselor.

Learn about genetic counseling

Safe Sleep for Babies

Top Q&As

  • In a high-risk pregnancy, one or more things raise a woman's — or her baby's — chances for health problems or early delivery.

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  • Many things cause a baby to be born early or with health problems. Some things can be controlled, but others can't.

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  • A progesterone shot can increase the chances for a full-term pregnancy if you've had premature labor in the past.

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