A premature birth is a birth which takes place more than 3 weeks before the baby’s estimated due date. Therefore, a premature birth is one which occurs before the start of the 37th week of pregnancy.
There are different category levels of prematurity and these carry their own risks:
- moderate to late preterm (32 to 37 weeks);
- very preterm (28 to 32 weeks);
- extremely preterm (less than 28 weeks).
The more premature a child is when born, the greater the risk of problems.
Preterm birth complications are the main cause of death among children under 5 years of age, responsible for over 1 million deaths per year.
You should know that you are more likely to experience premature birth or premature labor if:
- your job involves extremely strenuous, physical work;
- you have had premature labor in the past;
- you have a cervical infection, like – gonorrhea, group B streptococcus, syphilis, chlamydia, Gardnerella, or trichomoniasis;
- you are not receiving antenatal care from a qualified healthcare professional;
- you are carrying more than one baby;
- you have kidney disease, pre-eclampsia (a pregnancy complication described by high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes mellitus, heart disease, or any type of infection;
- you have had three or more elective abortions;
- you have had 2nd-trimester miscarriages during previous pregnancies;
- your mother used the medication diethylstilboestrol (a synthetic nonsteroidal estrogen) while she was pregnant with you;
- you smoke tobacco (or you are exposed regularly to second-hand smoking) or use illegal drugs;
- you were notably underweight when you became pregnant;
- you became pregnant while using an IUD (intrauterine device), and the IUD was left in place during pregnancy;
- you are older than 35;
- you are younger than 17;
- you have had a cone biopsy (a small operation to remove a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix);
- you have an abnormal cervix;
- you have an abnormally shaped uterus.
When a pregnancy ends after the normal amount of time, it is known as a “full-term pregnancy” or “term pregnancy.” Pregnancies which last a little longer than 40 weeks are occasionally referred to as late-term pregnancies.
A pregnancy which continues for longer than 42 weeks is called overdue pregnancy or post-term pregnancy.
Delivering more than 14 days after your due date can have some health risks.
For instance, the perinatal mortality rate at greater than 42 weeks of gestation is 100 percent higher than at term (4-7 deaths vs. 2-3 deaths per 1,000 deliveries).
You are more likely to have a post-term pregnancy if:
- you are obese;
- you are having your first baby;
- your baby is a boy;
- your due date was calculated incorrectly most likely due to the fact that the precise date for the beginning of your last period is not known;
- you have had a prior overdue pregnancy;
- your family has a history of post-term pregnancy.
Abortion means termination of pregnancy – it can either be induced or spontaneous. Induced means termination of a pregnancy that is planned, while spontaneous is known as miscarriage.
Each year, an estimated 1.2 million women in the United States have an abortion to end a pregnancy.
Furthermore, around 43 percent of American women will have at least one abortion during their lifetime.
Approximately fifty percent of all abortions are done during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy and close to 88 percent during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
A miscarriage is an event which results in the loss of a fetus during early pregnancy.
The medical term for miscarriage is “spontaneous abortion.”
It can be an incredibly devastating event, with long-lasting emotional repercussions, including anger, fear, depression, and guilt.
On average, approximately 20 percent pregnancies will end in a miscarriage — typically in the 1st trimester (the first 3 months).
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of a miscarriage:
- mild to severe back pain;
- severe abdominal pain;
- expulsion of tissue with clots from your vagina;
- vaginal bleeding;
- heavy spotting.
It is caused by the separation of the fetus and placenta from the uterine wall.
If a miscarriage happens during the 1st trimester of pregnancy, it is commonly caused by problems with the unborn baby.
Miscarriage during the 4th through 6th months of pregnancy is typically related to an abnormality in the mother.
Factors that can increase the risk of a miscarriage include:
- certain medications, like the acne drug Accutane;
- incompetent cervix;
- uterine abnormalities;
- exposure to workplace and environmental hazards, like toxic agents or radiation;
- uncontrolled diabetes;
- high blood pressure;
- abnormal hormone levels in the mother, like – thyroid hormone;
- kidney disease;
- coeliac disease.
A premature birth may indicate that the mother wanted to give birth to her baby ahead of schedule but could not or did not want to admit it.
There may also be an unconscious aversion to the future pregnancy, and this pattern of thinking can lead to premature birth.
Spiritual Meaning of Overdue Pregnancy
Overdue birth is the opposite of the premature birth and here the mother refuses to let the child be born.
The same problem may arise when the child becomes an adult and tries to move out of his parents’ home.
We have to learn to let go of the pregnancy we’re hanging on, even if it’s an unborn child.
Spiritual Meaning of Abortion & Miscarriage
When an abortion or a miscarriage occurs, it is likely that the child was consciously or unconsciously rejected. This often demonstrates the existence of family conflicts or tensions.
Again, the “disease” reveals the truth. If you truly want a child, do it with joy and his birth will become a positive experience for both mother and child.