Are premature births on the rise?

What causes this rise of premature births?

Scientists have been baffled for too long, and eventually isolated several factors which can contribute to this rise.

  • Lifestyle and environment – The birth of a baby prematurely has been linked to diabetes and obesity in wealthy countries, and ironically, to nutrient deficiencies in poorer ones. We are also much more exposed to harsh chemicals in our daily environment, and pollution is also said to play a part. Easy access to drugs and alcohol, has meant that some pregnant women are continuing to drink and use drugs during their pregnancy, increasing the risk of premature birth.
  • Socio-economic factors – In today’s society, it is not unusual for an older woman to be expecting, but being pregnant at an older age does carry with it a risk of having a premature birth. It has also been suggested that factors such as class, education and social stance also have an influence on when your baby will be born.

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  • IV treatments – Fertility treatments are the biggest culprit in the rise of premature births. There is a higher chance of being blessed with multiple babies. If you are expecting twins or triplets, from IVF or natural conception, the chances are that you won’t be be able to carry full-term.
  • Caesareans – As more women opt to have a C-section over a natural birth, this can affect the numbers. Doctors will normally only do a C-section between the 36th and 37th week of your pregnancy.

premature birth

While this rise may seem alarming, the advancements in medicine and antenatal care today mean that if you do have your baby prematurely, your little one will be in extremely safe hands.

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Source: Premature births on the rise worldwide, U.S. ranks poorly