If you have had a premature baby in the past, you are more likely to have a premature delivery in future pregnancies.
In fact, the main risk factor for premature delivery is previous premature delivery. The more premature deliveries you have had, and the earlier your babies were born, the higher the risk of premature delivery in a future pregnancy.
You're also more likely to go into premature labour if:
- this is your first baby
- you are pregnant with twins, triplets or other multiples
- you have had a cervical trauma, such as treatment for an abnormal smear test
- your stomach has been injured (for example, because of physical violence or if you were in a car crash).
- you are under 17
- you are over 35
- you had previous Preterm Premature Rupture of the Membranes (PPROM)
- you have cervical insufficiency (cervical incompetence)
Diabetes is a condition in which there is an inability to control blood sugar levels and it leads to high amounts of sugar in the blood. Gestational diabetes is diabetes that develops during pregnancy.
Premature babies have less developed immune systems and are more susceptible to infection, but there are ways to reduce the risk.
Frequently asked questions on premature birth
The way your life is lived can have an effect on your risk of premature birth. There are some things that you will not be able to change, such as ethnicity or age but there are some others that you may be able to change.
If your baby is born early - also called 'premature' or 'preterm' - he may need special care.
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system makes antibodies that attack and damage its own tissues or cells.
ℹLast reviewed on April 1st, 2014. Next review date April 1st, 2017.