- Every year close to 15 million babies are born preterm: WHO
- Preterm delivery is where the child is born at least 3 weeks early
- Experts at MIT have found a novel way to detect preterm delivery
The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed that cervical mucus from women who delivered their babies before 37 weeks was very different from that of women who delivered later. A simple test conducted on the cervical mucus may help in ascertaining whether or not a woman is likely to go into an early labour.
Between 25 and 40 per cent of early births are believed to be caused by infections that occur when microbes reach the uterus through the cervical plug, which is made of mucus and normally blocks access to the uterus. This suggests that cervical mucus from women at high risk for early labour, for reasons not yet known, may be more susceptible to invasion by potentially harmful bacteria and microbes, making it more likely that those women will experience an infection that leads to preterm birth, IANS reported.
A healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet can go a long way in shielding the mother as well as the fetus against some of the most commonly occurring delivery-linked complications. The following dietary tips will come handy in maintaining healthy pregnancy.
1. Folate consumption assumes great importance during pregnancy as the deficiency of this nutrient has long been tied to triggering birth and neural tube effects in the newborn.
2. Protein deficiency is one of the biggest health concerns in India. Close to 90% of Indian pregnant women are deficient in protein. It is therefore extremely important to get enough protein in your diet via poultry, meats, lentils and fresh vegetables.
3. Iron is extremely important and assumes greater significance during pregnancy. Every woman requires extra 760mg/day of iron during pregnancy. Pulses, legumes, beetroot, dates, figs, pomegranate, green leafy veggies, nuts, cereals, poultry, meats and seafood are all rich sources of iron.
4. Don't forget calcium, fibre and omega 3. A pregnant woman's bones need extra fortification to withstand the extra weight of the fetus. Calcium is also crucial for optimum fetus development. A total of 200mg calcium a day is recommended for pregnant women. Adequate fibre and omega 3 intake helps in strengthening the body, facilitating fetus development and helping in hassle-free delivery.
Inputs from IANS