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Doctors should watch for signs that lead to premature birth

Pregnancy should be a wonderful and exciting time and experience for expectant mothers here in Oregon and elsewhere. However, many things could go wrong during pregnancy, which is why it is important for obstetricians to carefully monitor their patients. For instance, a premature birth could mean problems for a new baby, so doctors should assess risk factors and do what they can to help a woman make it to full-term.

Obvious issues that could lead to premature birth such as alcohol use and smoking should easily be on an obstetrician’s radar. Of course, he or she can only control these factors by warning the mother against them and providing any medical interventions needed in order to help mother and baby. However, other factors such as a mother’s age, diabetes prior to pregnancy, a prior premature birth and carrying multiples should immediately catch the attention of obstetricians and should monitor mother and child appropriately in order to manage any issues these factors could cause.

Prenatal care is also an important part of preventing premature birth. Identifying any potential uterine or cervical issues early could help a woman make it to full-term as well. If a woman contracts an infection, suffers from an illness or develops gestational diabetes, quick and aggressive treatment may be required. A woman with chronic high blood pressure could develop a dangerous condition called preeclampsia, which puts the mother’s life in serious peril.

As you can see, a wide variety of issues could increase the chances of a premature birth. It is up to doctors to identify the risk factors, develop a plan to control or overcome the, and execute it appropriately so that mother and child come through the pregnancy healthy and uninjured. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and it could be due to medical malpractice.