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01 Mar 2005

Premature labour - questions
My sister-in-law went into labour prematurely on Saturday night (she is now around 33wks). The doctors are doing all they can to delay delivery because they say the baby's lungs are not properly developed yet and the chances of his/her survival are slim.

I am 28wks pregnant myself and I'm now scared to death of a similar situation. Sshe is much younger than me and had a perfectly healthy pregnancy up to now. What causes premature delivery? Is there any way to avoid it? At what stage is the survival of a premature infant guaranteed?

Any and all answers will be appreciated!

Thank you,
Vinette
Answer 401 views
Expert
GynaeDoc

01 Jan 0001

Premature labour occurs in about 10% of pregnancies. There are a number of causes - infection, cervical incompetence, an abnormal uterus, lack of folate and many others. There isn't really a way of preventing most of these, other than being aware of any contractions and seeingn your doctor immediately if they occur. The survival rate at 28 weeks, is about 50% and after 34 weeks is well above 95%. However, it its not just a question of survival. Your sister-in-law's doctors are trying to minimise the risks of other complications of prematurity such as jaundice, not sucking properly, etc.

Best wishes
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