Capstone Research Paper
Mr. Exclusa/Ms. Cowart
4 march 2010
How can we prevent the cause of children born prematurely?
Most pregnancies last about 40 weeks. By definition, a premature birth takes place more than three weeks before the due date. A premature birth gives a baby less time to develop and mature in the womb. The result is an increased risk of various medical and developmental problems, including trouble breathing and bleeding in the brain. If you go into labor too early, your doctor may try to delay your baby's birth. Even if premature birth is inevitable, a few extra days in the womb can promote significant development. Although the rate of premature birth seems to be on the rise, there's good news. A healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward preventing preterm labor and premature birth.
Prematurity is the third leading cause of prenatal death, and preterm premature rupture of the membranes is associated with approximately 50% of all preterm births. The factors described for preterm labor are the same, although the clinical presentation differs among patients. The reason for this disparity is unknown. Many of these pro-inflammatory factors are common in both conditions; however, the clinical presentation differs. Different strategies are used in the administration of prenatal care, and future studies need to determine if the focus should be on screening for high risk women, or widened support for low-risk women, or to what degree these approaches should be merged. While dental infection has been linked with preterm birth, randomized trials have not shown that dental care during pregnancy reduces preterm birth rates.
A number of agents have been studied for secondary prevention of indicated preterm birth. Trials using low-dose aspirin, fish oil, vitamin C and E, and calcium to reduce preeclampsia demonstrated some reduction in preterm birth only when low-aspirin was used. Interestingly, even if agents such as calcium or antioxidants...