[Holy Hormones Honey! Body health and literacy are crucial to all aspects of our lives – especially during pregnancy. The build up of toxins in pregnant women’s bodies affects the fetal growth of their babies. Body detoxification must be looked at prior to pregnancy. It is a whole new world people.]
Premature Birth and a Healthy Digestive Tract: 4 Steps of Healing During Pregnancy and Beyond
Posted May 8, 2012
Early this May, the first-ever national, regional, and global estimates of preterm birth were reported. It turns out that 15 million babies are born too soon, and over 7% of of these babies die shortly after birth. (1)
Worldwide, premature birth is the second-leading cause of death in children under the age of five.
In order to combat the rise of preterm births in the United States, routine prenatal care checks for vaginal infection and for the presence of other inflammatory markers.
Inflammatory markers are biochemical signs of trouble. They can signal infection or the body struggling to respond to disease.
Both inflammatory markers and vaginal infection are established risk factors for preterm birth. Unfortunately, it turns out that the golden standard for a healthy birth canal may not be as clear-cut as previously thought.
In the United States, 1 out of 9 births are preterm.
At 37 weeks, a fetus is considered full term. If birth occurs any time before 37 weeks, this is what is known as a preterm birth.
12 percent of babies born in the US are premature, leaving them at risk for brain injury, respiratory disorders, chronic infection, and even cerebral palsy.
Preterm births are a health concern because those born prematurely usually face a lifetime of compromised health. (2) This could mean:
- Chronic infection
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain injury
- Respiratory disorders
- Hearing difficulties
- Learning and developmental disorders
About 12 percent of the babies born in the United States, or more than 1 in 9 births, are preterm.
While the United States preterm birth rate has declined over the last several years, this number is still too high. Many researchers and health care professionals are searching for reasons as to why so many babies are born too soon.
Dr. Craig Rubens, contributor to the most recent report on preterm births, says that this news “sounds the alarm that prematurity is an enormous global health problem that urgently demands more research and resources.”