Are premature births on the rise?

Across the globe, millions of babies are born prematurely every year – an international occurrence that has left experts scratching their heads, since the 1990’s. In years past, 38 to 42 weeks was considered the normal gestation period for a full term pregnancy, but, the last few years has seen a significant rise in mother’s giving birth before the 37th week.

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The rise of premature births

A project was launched by the Singapore General Hospital to focus on the rise of premature births, not only in Singapore, but across the globe. Based on the research by Associate Professor Yeo Cheo Lian, there is a 15 percent increase in the birth of premature babies nationwide; as opposed to the eight percent in the 1980’s.The rise in cases are very predominant in older mummies.

And it’s not just the Singapore General Hospital who is paying attention; the rise of premature births have been picked up by the World Health Organization, who found the same staggering results on a global scale. In the US, for instance, premature births have increased by 35 percent in the same time span.

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In contrast, Australia and the UK have a consistent 7 percent rate of preemie babies per year, but these countries are in the minority. It is worth mentioning that, unlike other countries, the slight increase in Australia and the UK, is mostly due to a mother being induced early because of medical reasons.

What causes this rise of premature births?

Find out what could of caused this rise on the next page…