Preterm labor and preterm birth are increasing dramatically in the United States, and we don't really know why.
"A preterm baby has a 120 times greater risk of death than a baby born full term, and survivors are at risk of breathing difficulties, bleeding into the brain, and having a significant neurological handicap such as cerebral palsy."
"Preterm birth costs the United States $26 billion per year. It is one of the most serious and significant challenges to medicine and society and one whose importance is not fully recognized,"
This article discusses findings that genes in mothers and babies can predispose them to preterm labor:
The risk is not completely genetic. "'We have established that one of every three premature babies is born to a mother who has an intra-amniotic infection,' an infection in the normally sterile amniotic fluid that surrounds the developing fetus."
Even expectant mothers who are genetically predisposed to preterm labor can take precautions to stay healthy and low-risk through a healthy lifestyle and diet, including plenty of fresh whole foods and lots of vegetables that contain vital enzymes to aid in proper digestion. This will help ensure that the mother will stay free of infection and reduce her risk of having preterm labor.