What are the Causes of Premature Birth?

What are the Causes of Premature Birth?

The average time of gestation is forty weeks. However, not all deliveries occur in the fortieth week. Some occur early and some occur late. The window is from 38 weeks to 42 weeks. If a baby is delivered before 37 weeks of gestation, it is called a premature birth. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

A premature birth can bring a number of problems for your baby. Your baby may be underdeveloped and weak. Your baby may have a few health issues. Your baby may need intensive care for the first few weeks of her life.

There are a number of reasons behind a premature birth. Sometimes, a premature birth can actually be baffling because the cause is unknown. Other times, the cause is pretty clear.

Multiple Births

If you are carrying more than one child, chances are that you will go into preterm labor and have a premature birth. The reason behind this is that the uterus might get overstretched because of multiple babies. If the uterus stretches too much, you won’t be able to carry the babies for forty weeks and you will have an early delivery.


Yes, your lifestyle will affect your baby in a number of ways. If you drink alcohol, smoke, or take drugs during pregnancy, chances are very high that you will have a premature birth. Also, if you don’t eat properly and stress too much, it will affect your pregnancy. Women who don’t take good care of themselves often give birth earlier.


If you have any medical complication such as diabetes, anemia, or hypertension, you may give birth early. Also, if your baby has any problems such as growth restriction and birth defects, chances of premature birth are high.


Infections in the fetal membrane or the amniotic fluid can cause premature births. If you have an infection in other parts of the body too, chances of premature births are high.

Problems in the uterus, cervix, or placenta

If there is any problem in the placenta or uterus or your cervix, preterm labor may occur. Some problems include placental abruption, placenta previa, uterine problems, and so on.


If you had an accident when you were pregnant or if you were subjected to domestic violence during pregnancy, chances are that you will face preterm labor and preterm birth.

Doctor-induced Labor

If your doctor sees that you have a problem or there are any complications in your pregnancy, he may choose to go for induced labor. The problems include gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. He may also choose cesarean section.


As you can see, most of the causes of premature labor and birth are avoidable. You can avoid them if you take good care of yourself right from the start. In order to ensure a healthy delivery, you should make sure you eat well and follow a healthy lifestyle.

You should start taking prenatal care of yourself right from the time you get pregnant or from the time you decide on getting pregnant. Make sure you are safe and follow the advice your doctor gives you. Just some care for yourself and your baby will avoid a number of problems.

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Maureen Stephens, BS, RN
Maureen Stephens, BS, RN | ConceiveEasy
Ms. Stephens has spent over twenty years in the healthcare world, specializing in obstretical and medical/surgical nursing. She joined ConceiveEasy as she has a strong interest in educating and empowering women and promoting fertility awareness.