If you have had a premature baby in the past, you are more likely to have a premature delivery in future pregnancies.
One of the main risk factors 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:
- you had previous Preterm Premature Rupture of the Membranes (PPROM)
- you have cervical insufficiency (cervical incompetence)
- you had IVF to conceive
- you have placenta praevia
- you are carrying twins or triplets
- you are underweight or obese
- you have an infection (sexually transmitted, UTI, vaginal)
- you have high blood pressure or diabetes
- this is your first baby
- you have had a cervical trauma, such as treatment for an abnormal smear test
- you have abnormalities of the reproductive organs such as an abnormally shaped uterus
- physical injury or trauma (for example, because of domestic violence or if you were in a car crash).
- you are under 17
- you are over 35
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.
Most premature babies go on to lead healthy lives, but unfortunately a very small proportion of them do not survive.
Premature babies have less developed immune systems and are more susceptible to infection, but there are ways to reduce the risk.
The way your life is lived can have an effect on your risk of premature birth.
If your baby is born early - also called 'premature' or 'preterm' - they 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 October 5th, 2016. Next review date October 5th, 2019.