Prevention is the Best Treatment
According to the March of Dimes, the cause of premature birth is unknown 4 out of 10 times. While there are no ways to guarantee a healthy, full-term baby, a woman’s lifestyle before, during, and after pregnancy can have an impact. A woman may be able to reduce the risk of premature birth by making important lifestyle choices.
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and drugs
- Take prenatal vitamins and folic acid
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Try to reduce your stress levels
- Seek early and regular prenatal care
- Talk with your doctor about the medications, herbs, and over-the-counter remedies you’re taking- not all may be healthy for your baby
- Pay attention to your body’s signs
Care for Moms-to-Be
Through a unique program that monitors high-risk pregnancies, expert healthcare professionals in St. Mary’s maternal-infant program routinely visit at-risk mothers to promote healthier practices and lifestyles.
The prenatal program highlights the importance of postpartum education and focuses on caring for a child’s needs such as breastfeeding, treating illnesses, doctor visits, and socialization, and helps mothers learn to cope with the new responsibility of motherhood. Caregivers extend physical and emotional support to mothers during and after pregnancy and give families an opportunity to receive parent education, support, and training. When health issues are identified, St. Mary’s therapists guide families who are expecting a baby with special healthcare needs through pregnancy and after-birth care in a manner that integrates their beliefs into the most appropriate care for the baby.