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Preterm delivery is responsible for 75% of all neonatal deaths

Preterm delivery is when a baby is born before 37 completed weeks of the pregnancy. The earlier a baby is born, the more likely s/he will have complications. Experts don’t know all the reasons that some babies are born too early. Certain risk factors can increase the chance that a woman will have a preterm birth. However, you can still have a premature birth even without any known risk factors. 

By answering a few questions, this babyMed preterm identification tool can help identify if you have risk factors for having a preterm birth. You can complete this tool before and during pregnancy without needing a blood draw, and from the convenience and comfort of your own home. If you are at increased risk, talk to your doctor to find out what you can do to prevent the risk. 

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What does this premature birth risk calculator show?

Although most babies born a few weeks early usually do well with no health consequences, the earlier they are born, the more health problems they will have. This premature birth risk calculator was designed by Dr. Amos Grunebaum to help you assess and calculate your risk of having a preterm birth. 

What is a preterm birth?

Preterm or premature delivery is a birth that occurs before 37 weeks of the pregnancy or more than three weeks before a baby's due date.

Throughout the course of a 40-week pregnancy, there are many important developments including the final months and weeks of the pregnancy. 

What are some risk factors for preterm labor that exist before you get pregnant?

  • Being underweight or overweight before pregnancy or not gaining enough weight during pregnancy
  • Having high blood pressure, preeclampsia, diabetes, or thrombophilias (blood clotting disorders)
  • Having a sexually transmitted disease or other infections of the uterus, urinary tract, or vagina
  • Having a family history of premature birth. This means someone in your family (like your mother, grandmother or sister) has had a premature baby. If you were born prematurely, you’re more likely than others to give birth early
  • Exposure to the medicine DES, a man-made form of the hormone estrogen. This includes being exposed to DES in the womb (if your mother took DES when she was pregnant with you)

What are risk factors for premature birth during pregnancy?

  • Bleeding from the vagina in the second or third trimester 
  • Preterm premature rupture of the membranes (also called PPROM). This is when the sac around the baby breaks early, causing labor to start
  • Being pregnant after in vitro fertilization (also called IVF). IVF is a fertility treatment used to help women get pregnant. 
  • Being pregnant with a baby who has certain birth defects, like congenital heart defects or spina bifida
  • Getting pregnant too soon after having a baby

You should wait at least 18 months between giving birth and getting pregnant again. Talk to your provider about how long to wait between pregnancies if you're older than 35 or you've had a miscarriage or stillbirth. Miscarriage is the death of a baby in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Stillbirth is the death of a baby in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

Read More:
Preventing Preterm Birth
The Effects of Premature Labor on Your Baby
Labor, Delivery, and Birth Guide