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We often don’t know why preterm birth occurs, but we know that all women who deliver early are at risk for another preterm baby.

A woman’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

Preterm Birth Prevention Clinic • 101 Manning Drive • Chapel Hill, NC 27514