Risks for Future Pregnancies
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