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What can I do to keep from going into preterm labor?

You are smart to ask that question because prematurity is the leading cause of low birth weight babies and infant death in this country. The good news is that there are many natural pregnancy remedies and things you can do to decrease your risk of premature birth.

The most important thing you can do is to avoid smoking and second hand smoke, which definitely increase the risk.

A natural pregnancy remedy that has been shown to prevent preterm labor is to follow a good prenatal vitamin and mineral supplementation program. Get enough omega 3 fats, especially one known as DHA. These are found in abundance in fish oil. Studies have shown that women who eat 1.00 grams of DHA and 1.3 grams of EPA (two different types of omega 3 fats) per day experience a far lower risk of premature birth and also have bigger babies. You can find omega 3 fats in flaxseed oil, hemp oil, and fish oil. The best source is from cold water fish from uncontaminated waters. Wild Alaskan salmon and halibut fit this bill perfectly.

You will also want to ask your doctor about taking natural progesterone, another great natural pregnancy remedy. Studies show that receiving a progesterone shot (17 hydroxyprogesterone 250mg) once per week from week 16 to week 36 dramatically decreases the risk of premature labor in women at high risk. Progesterone can also be given as a skin cream or vaginal suppository.

Finally, make sure you have psychological support for your pregnancy. Gather friends and relatives around you to help with your pregnancy and new baby. Meditation and guided imagery in which you visualize yourself keeping your baby safe inside you have also been documented to help prevent prematurity. For some suggestions, see www.calmbirth.org.

Answered by Dr. Christiane Northrup