The mother’s previous condition can be crucial to a healthy pregnancy and to mitigating the risks of preterm birth. For Dr. Leila Denis Cesario Pereira, member of the Scientific Department of Neonatology of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics, in addition to the clinical condition of a pregnant woman, other factors can influence the length of pregnancy. “Prematurity is more common when there is a previous history of the mother’s preterm birth, in a pregnancy with twins (the risk is greater as the number of fetuses increases), when there is infection, arterial hypertension or diabetes during pregnancy, when there is difficulty in the fetus developing, in Assisted reproductive status (eg, in vitro fertilization), among other causes,” he warns.
The Ministry of Health recommends at least six consultations throughout pregnancy as ideal. In Minas Gerais, out of 241,700 live births last year, 0.93% did not receive any counseling. 3.16% went to a specialist one to three times; And 15.44% visited a doctor four to six times during pregnancy, according to information from the state health department. That is, 80.3% of pregnant women were consulted at least seven times.
“The most important preventive measure is prenatal counseling from the beginning of pregnancy. Only in this way can situations that increase the risk of prematurity be identified and treated in time. Sometimes premature labor can be prevented or delayed for a short time by giving the mother medications to slow or stop contractions. In certain cases, the mother receives an injection of SBP doctor Laila Pereira explains.
Sudden prematurity: when there is no reason for premature birth
When the public servant Nausicaa Vernalha, 39, was pregnant with her daughter Letícia, in 2019, all tests indicated a healthy and normal pregnancy. Even without the medical reports, the pregnant woman herself insisted on informing herself as much as possible about the pregnancy, which is why, when the mucus plug came out at the 34th week of pregnancy, a warning sign prompted her to seek guidance.
“My obstetrician was on a trip, but she referred me over the phone to go to maternity. When I got there, the doctors who evaluated me said my cervix was too thin and decided to admit me to the hospital for observation,” he says. Nausica stayed in the hospital for a few days until her doctor arrived, did the evaluation and found out that her daughter would be born soon.
“I stayed in the hospital for a week, had injections of medication to mature my daughter’s lung, the uterine sac was broken (the uterine sac was ruptured), and when we completed 35 weeks and 4 days (8 months), Leticia was born,” she says.
No previous health cause was cited as a cause of preterm birth. However, Nausicaa believes the reason was emotional. “When I found out I was pregnant, my mother-in-law found out she had cancer. We were very close, and she passed away when I was five months old.
Although the daughter is now two years old and 10 months, no sequelae and today being perfectly healthy, the shock has been great. “It was very scary, and the postpartum period was difficult. My psyche was so shaken that to this day I look at my daughter and find it hard to understand that she is normal,” he adds.
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