Risks for Future Pregnancies

Even though we often don’t know why a preterm birth happens, we do know that all women who deliver early are at risk for another preterm baby.


A women’s risk of having another preterm birth depends on:

  • How early the preterm birth(s) happened (earlier births = higher risk)
  • The number of preterm births she's had (more preterm births = higher risk)
  • How long it has been since the last preterm birth (shorter time = higher risk).  If you've just delivered preterm, it's important to wait at least 6 months before becoming pregnant again.  Waiting 12-18 months will increase  your chances of a full term pregnancy.  Using reliable birth control such as IUDs and implants, combined hormone pills/nuva ring/patch, or progesterone only (pill and depo-provera) can help you time your next pregnancy.


Other factors associated with a preterm birth include:

    • A short cervix
    • Twins or triplets
    • Smoking or street drugs - find information about quitting here! and here!
    • Medical problems (such as diabetes or high blood pressure)
    • Being underweight or overweight/obese - calculate your BMI here
    • Little or no prenatal care - call us when you get pregnant! 984-974-2131
    • Black race
    • Abnormally shaped uterus or scarring inside of the uterus