Did you know…

We’ve hit a bit of a slump in the last couple of weeks with our donations for our walk–which is OK, because there is still time to contribute! While monetary donations are greatly appreciated, you can also help by adding a “Donate Now” button to your own blog so that we can reach even more people! Click HERE to download the code.  Here are a few more facts about prematurity that you might not know:

In nearly 40 percent of premature births, the cause is unknown. However, researchers have made some progress in learning the causes of prematurity. Studies suggest that there may be four main routes leading to premature labor.

1. Infections/Inflammation. Studies suggest that premature labor is often triggered by the body’s natural immune response to certain bacterial infections, such as those involving the genital and urinary tracts and fetal membranes. Even infections far away from the reproductive organs, such as periodontal disease, may contribute to premature delivery.

2. Maternal or fetal stress. Chronic psychosocial stress in the mother or physical stress (such as insufficient blood flow from the placenta) in the fetus appears to result in production of a stress-related hormone called corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). CRH may stimulate production of a cascade of other hormones that trigger uterine contractions and premature delivery.

3. Bleeding. The uterus may bleed because of problems such as placental abruption (the placenta peels away, partially or almost completely, from the uterine wall before delivery). Bleeding triggers the release of various proteins involved in blood clotting, which also appear to stimulate uterine contractions.

4. Stretching. The uterus may become overstretched by the presence of two or more babies, excessive amounts of amniotic fluid, or uterine or placental abnormalities, leading to release of chemicals that stimulate uterine contractions.

The finding that there are several routes that can result in premature delivery may help explain why prematurity is so difficult to prevent. Now that scientists have a better handle on possible pathways to prematurity, they may be able to develop more effective interventions that can halt the various chemical cascades that lead to it. But first they must identify the women who need these treatments.


One Response to “Did you know…”

  1. Tammy J Says:


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