No one wishes to birth a premature child; all parents want their babies born healthy and normal.
However, according to a team of researchers at the National Institute of Health, the place where you live plays a role in birthing premature babies, especially if you live in either a very hot or very cold climate.
The role the weather plays is most crucial during the first seven months of pregnancy, and particularly in hot weather.
“This is because cold temperature can push people to seek shelter or measures to escape the chill,” as per the Parent Herald. “People are more likely to endure the heat, especially when air conditioning cannot be easily and readily accessed.”
Exposure to extreme heat is linked to a 6% increased risk of preterm birth at 34 weeks. Meanwhile, the risk jumps to 21% at 36 to 38 weeks.
Researchers believe that the stress extreme heat contributes hinders the development of placenta or alters blood flow to the uterus.
As a result, it leads to early labor and preterm birth.
(A full-term pregnancy ranges between 39 and 40 weeks, while preterm birth occurs before a woman reached her 37th week of pregnancy.)
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, premature babies are at a higher risk of infant death and long-term health disabilities such as vision and hearing impairments, breathing and feeding difficulties.
Risks in developmental delays such as cerebral palsy, autism, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, muscular dystrophy, and Tourette syndrome are also heightened.
Find out how to prevent preterm birth next page!
Preventing preterm birth
As for mothers, risk factors of preterm birth include high blood pressure, sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections, vaginal bleeding, underweight or overweight conditions before pregnancy, and diabetes.
If a mother smokes, drinks alcohol, uses drugs, stress, the risk of birthing prematurely also rises.
According to the Parent Herald report, pregnant women should strive to attain at least 25 to 35 pounds for those with normal weight.
Overweight women should aim for 15 to 25 pounds during pregnancy, while obese women should have an 11 to 20-pound weight gain.
READ: Pregnancy Concerns: Preterm Labor
If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below or check out theAsianparent Community for more insightful parenting news and tips . Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ to stay up-to-date on the latest from theAsianparent.com Philippines!