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Can premature births in Texas be prevented?

As we discussed last week, premature birth is one of the leading causes of neonatal death. That post might have some of our Texas readers wanting to know more about premature births. Getting some answers to common questions might help some of our readers to better understand premature births.

What is a premature birth?

A premature birth is any birth that takes place prior to the 37th week of pregnancy. There are four different stages for premature birth. Births on or before the 25th week are considered extremely premature. Births between 25 and 32 weeks are very preterm, between 32 and 34 weeks are moderately preterm, and between 34 and 36 weeks are late preterm.

Can anything be done to prevent a premature birth?

Some premature births can be prevented. If a woman has a short cervix or has a history of premature birth, a cervical cerclage might be necessary. This is a procedure in which the cervix is stitched closed to help support the uterus. Some women who have a history of premature births might need progesterone supplements.

How do I know if I need one of those?

A woman who is being closely monitored by a midwife or obstetrician might learn that she is in need of one of these during her regular appointments. While it isn't always possible to prevent premature births, close monitoring does lessen the chance of one occurring.

Any woman who has given birth to a premature baby might have claims for compensation if that premature birth was because of improper medical care or treatment. Learning more about birth injuries, medical negligence and medical malpractice might help these women to decide how to proceed.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Premature birth" Jan. 05, 2015

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