Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Way to Avoid Preterm Births

Preterm births may be caused by genital tract nfections, physiological difficulties during the pregnancy (placenta previa, insufficient cervix, etc.) and maternal illnesses (diabetes, asthma, lupus, etc.). An increased risk is seen among multiple pregnancies, previous history of preterm birth, mothers who are younger than 17 and older than 35, chemical (drugs, alcohol, smoking) abuse during pregnancy and pregnancies occuring within six months of giving birth.

Hope is given by recent findings that:
"Through the NIH trials, we received highly accurate evidence of gestational age enabling us to determine that folate supplementation for at least one year is linked to a 70 percent decrease in very early preterm deliveries (20 to 28 weeks gestation) and up to a 50 percent reduction in early preterm deliveries of 28 to 32 weeks," said Radek Bukowski, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, the lead study author.

"We already know that folic acid supplementation beginning before pregnancy and continuing into the first trimester helps prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spinal cord, such as spina bifida," said Alan R. Fleischman, M.D., senior vice president and medical director of the March of Dimes. "Dr. Bukowski's research makes us optimistic that taking folic acid for at least one year before pregnancy also may greatly reduce the risk of premature birth and reinforces our message that every woman of childbearing age should consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily."

Taking folic acid supplements may not be a priority when you're not even trying to conceive, or are already spending so much on fertility treatments. But you can get folate from dark, green leafy vegetables, legumes, citrus fruits, avocados, and strawberries. You can in fact get loads of them from malunggay (moringa) leaves or capsules so if you're already taking moringa capsules as multivitamin, then you're already getting folate as well. Of course, eating a balanced diet always goes a long way in saving you money and ensuring that you're really at your optimum health, to conceive, give birth and raise that child.

Preterm labor and birth
Taking Folic Acid For a Year before Pregnancy May Reduce Risk of Preterm Birth
Good Sources of Folate

No comments: