The Importance of Nutrition to Prevent Premature Birth

Meeting the nutritional intake is very important for pregnant women and fetuses. If you are malnourished during pregnancy, your risk of having a premature birth will also increase. In addition, the fetus in the mother’s womb will also be more at risk of experiencing various health problems.

Nutrition in Pregnancy

The nutrients that you get from food and drink will also be received by the fetus in your womb. If you eat healthy and nutritionally balanced foods, your fetus can grow and develop properly.

On the other hand, if you are malnourished during pregnancy, your fetus may experience growth and development disorders. Not only that, he is also at risk of being born prematurely, namely babies born before 37 weeks of gestation. However, premature birth can still occur, even if you feel you are following a healthy diet. Since, there are several other factors that can increase the risk of a pregnant woman giving birth to a premature baby, these risk factors will also be discussed in this article. Before discussing other risk factors, Ma, let’s identify the various important nutrients during pregnancy.

So that the risk of having a premature birth can be reduced, Mom is recommended to consume the following important nutrients:

1. Protein

Protein is very important to be consumed by pregnant women, especially during the second and third trimesters, because that is when the fetus grows the fastest. If you don’t get enough protein, your baby’s growth can be disrupted and you are at risk of being born prematurely. You can get these nutrients from lean meat or skin, seafood, eggs, tofu, tempeh, and milk and other processed products.

2. Folate

In addition to helping prevent premature birth, folate also has an important role in the production of red blood cells and preventing neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.

To meet these folate needs, you can eat meat, seafood, green vegetables, citrus fruits, avocados, nuts, wheat or whole wheat bread, oatmeal, and cereals fortified by folic acid.

3. Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of healthy fat that has an important role in supporting the growth of the brain and body tissues of the fetus in the womb. Several studies in pregnant women also show that adequate intake of omega-3 can reduce the risk of premature birth.

You can get omega-3 intake by eating fish, nuts, canola oil, eggs, and milk fortified by omega-3.

4. Iron

Lack of iron during pregnancy can make you develop iron deficiency anemia. This condition can increase your risk of having preterm labor, giving birth to a low birth weight baby, and suffering from postpartum depression.

You can get these nutrients by eating red meat, spinach, peas, and poultry.

By consuming a variety of the above nutrients according to the recommended dose, you can reduce your risk of having a premature birth.

Other Preterm Birth Risk Factors

It is important for Mom to know, apart from nutritional deficiencies, there are several other factors that can increase the risk of premature birth, namely:

1. Containing more than one baby

Premature birth is the most common complication if you are carrying more than one baby. In fact, nearly half of pregnancies with twins or more end in premature birth.

2. Suffering from certain health problems during pregnancy

Pregnant women who are infected with infection are more at risk for giving birth prematurely. Several types of infections during pregnancy that can cause this condition are infections of the uterus, urinary tract, and vagina, and infections of the teeth and gums such as periodontitis.

In addition to infection, you are also more at risk of giving birth earlier than your due date if you have complications during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

Therefore, you need to regularly check your pregnancy with your obstetrician so that these various health problems can be detected early and treated quickly, so that premature birth can be prevented.

3. Unhealthy lifestyle

Premature birth can also occur due to unhealthy lifestyle or habits during pregnancy. These habits include smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke, using illegal drugs, eating unhealthy foods, and being stressed frequently.

4. Genetic factors

There are studies which state that about 30-40% of cases of premature birth are caused by genetic factors. These genetic factors include a family history of premature birth, genetic disorders that are passed from parents to the fetus, and genetic changes or mutations in the fetus.

5. Have a history of premature birth or miscarriage

In addition to the risk factors above, you are also at a higher risk of having preterm labor if you have a history of giving birth prematurely or have had a miscarriage in a previous pregnancy.

So, now you understand the importance of adequate nutrition during pregnancy? To prevent premature birth and maintain the health of the fetus in your womb, eat healthy and nutritious foods.

Don’t forget, check your mother’s womb regularly to the doctor. If necessary, ask your doctor if you need to take pregnancy supplements to increase your nutritional intake.

How to Prevent Premature Birth

1. Minimize Stress

The first way to prevent premature birth is to reduce stress. Minimize stress as much as possible. Cope with stress using relaxation techniques, exercise, nutrition, and rest.

2. Manage Chronic Disease

How to prevent premature birth is very important is to manage chronic disease in the mother. Get treatment for chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and thyroid problems. Some chronic diseases of the mother can lead to premature birth if not treated properly during pregnancy.

3. Eat Healthy Food

Eat a healthy diet before and during pregnancy. Be sure to eat plenty of whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, and fruits. Taking folic acid and calcium supplements is also highly recommended.

4. Quit Smoking

Quit smoking before pregnancy or as early as possible during pregnancy. Quitting smoking, or taking too much of certain prescription drugs. These activities during pregnancy can lead to a higher risk of certain birth defects as well as miscarriage.

5. Avoid Heavy Work

Avoid strenuous activity, work, and standing for long periods of time. Set adequate rest time. Avoid work that drains energy and thoughts during pregnancy.

So, now you understand the importance of adequate nutrition during pregnancy? To prevent premature birth and maintain the health of the fetus in your womb, eat healthy and nutritious foods.

Don’t forget, check your mother’s womb regularly to the doctor. If necessary, ask your doctor if you need to take pregnancy supplements to increase your nutritional intake.

That’s what you need to know about the importance of nutrition to prevent premature birth. Prepare for the birth of your little one by knowing the right birth method, including the potential for giving birth to a Caesarean in just 2 minutes! Take the test now.

Nutriclub will help Mom monitor risk factors for preterm labor through the Preterm Risk Sceener based on expert research results. Come on, identify risk factors for premature labor in Mom by using the test here.