By Kate Pinney, Tommy's midwife
A premature baby is one born before 37 weeks. Babies born before week 28 (Vanessa’s baby is 26 weeks) are most at risk. Their little bodies are not fully developed and they are at risk of a wide range of health problems and very vulnerable to infection.
Having said that, care for premature babies in this country has come on in leaps and bounds and many babies go on to lead healthy lives.
We’re given to understand that the premature birth of Vanessa’s baby is a result of a fall. A fall at 26 weeks in which the bump gets a blow can start preterm labour or, more likely, damage the placenta (placental abruption), which could go on to require the premature delivery of the baby.
If you ever suffer a blow to your bump or if your bump is affected in a fall, call your midwife even if you think nothing has happened to the bump or baby.
Premature birth has many causes other than accidental trauma to the bump. Tommy's funds pioneering medical research into the causes and prevention of premature birth, and runs an award-winning preterm birth clinic in St Thomas' hospital in London. You can read more about our research into prematurity here.
Although it’s normal to have periods of worry and stress when you’re pregnant, some women have feelings that don’t go away and this can be a sign of something more serious.
People may tell you that pregnancy is a good time to put your feet up. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated it is actually much healthier for you and your baby to exercise while pregnant.
Although you will be putting on weight in pregnancy as your baby grows, limiting the amount of extra weight gain in pregnancy will improve your health and your baby's, both now and in the future.
We've got all the information you need about your body, your emotions and your baby, week-by-week of your pregnancy.