To help you have a healthy pregnancy and decrease the risk of premature birth and stillbirth, GAPPS has compiled a list of recommendations:
Do not smoke during pregnancy. Even if you stop after you learn that you are pregnant, you will improve your chances of carrying your baby to full term.
If undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), consult with your physician about transferring only one embryo to avoid multiple fetuses. The more babies you have at one time, the more likely you are to deliver too soon.
Unless medically necessary, do not schedule an elective delivery prior to 39 weeks of gestation.
Seek regular health care while pregnant.
If you have had a baby too soon (a preterm birth), there is an increased likelihood you will have another. Make sure you share this information with your healthcare provider. He or she should talk with you about ways to reduce your risk of another preterm birth.
While not very common, some conditions can make you more likely to have your baby too soon. If you have one of those conditions, like a “short cervix”, your doctor will suggest treatments like progesterone therapy or cervical cerclage to delay the birth of your baby.
Get treated for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you have HIV, there are drugs that will prevent your baby from getting infected during delivery.
Talk to your healthcare provider about every drug you take, whether it is by prescription, over-the-counter or illegal. Get help if you take drugs that could harm your baby or cause early labor.
Learn techniques to help manage stress.
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