Premature Births in India: An Overview of the Causes and Prevention Strategies


Premature Births in India: An
Overview of the Causes and Prevention Strategies

Premature Births in India: An Overview of the Causes and Prevention Strategies

Premature births, often known as preterm births, are defined as
births occurring before 37 weeks of gestation. In India, premature births are a
major public health concern, accounting for roughly 25% of all newborn
fatalities and 13% of all under-five mortality. Maternal infections,
malnutrition, hypertension, diabetes, numerous pregnancies, and a lack of
antenatal care are all significant reasons for premature births in India.
Prevention techniques include improving maternal health and nutrition, providing
timely and high-quality prenatal care, screening for and treating infections,
and encouraging kangaroo mother care.

Premature Deliveries on the Rise in India:
Causes and Precautions

Premature deliveries, also known as preterm births, are births
that occur before the 37th week of gestation. In India, premature births are a
major public health concern, accounting for roughly 25% of all newborn
fatalities and 13% of all under-five mortality.

Premature Births in India: An Overview of the Causes and Prevention Strategies

With 3.02 million preterm births in 2020, India accounted for
more than 20% of all preterm births globally.. Maternal infections,
malnutrition, hypertension, diabetes, numerous pregnancies, and a lack of
antenatal care are all significant causes of premature births in India.

These factors can raise the likelihood of spontaneous preterm
labour or medical issues that necessitate early induction of labour or surgical
delivery. Preterm birth may also have a hereditary component. Preventing
premature births begins with a healthy pregnancy.

Precautions That Can Help Lower The Risk Of
Premature Birth

    
Counseling on a healthy diet, nutrition, and the use of
tobacco and other drugs.

    
Foetal measures, including the use of early ultrasound
to aid in determining gestational age and detecting multiple pregnancies, are
included.

    
A minimum of eight visits with health providers
beginning before 12 weeks of pregnancy to identify and address risk factors
such as infections.

    
Improving maternal health and nutrition, delivering
prompt and high-quality antenatal care, screening for and treating infections,
and fostering kangaroo mother care are all priorities.

Premature deliveries can have serious consequences for a baby’s
life and development. As a result, it is vital to avoid them as much as
possible while also providing enough care for those who are born prematurely.

Premature birth rates in India during the last
three years, according to web search results, are as follows:

    
2020:
India’s preterm birth rate in 2020 was 13.0 percent, which implies that 13 out
of every 100 live births occurred before 37 weeks of pregnancy. In 2020, India
had 3.02 million preterm births, the most in the world, accounting for more
than 20% of all preterm births worldwide. In 2020, about one million newborns
perished as a result of premature problems.

    
2021: India’s
preterm birth rate in 2021 was 17.377 births per 1000 people, which implies
that 17 out of 1000 live births occurred before 37 weeks of pregnancy. This
represents a 1.22 percent decrease from 2020.

    
2022:
India’s preterm birth rate in 2022 was 17.163 births per 1000 people, which
implies that 17 out of 1000 live births occurred before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
This represents a 1.23 percent decrease from 2021.

Reasons Why Premature Deliveries are Increasing
In India

Premature Births in India: An Overview of the Causes and Prevention Strategies

Premature deliveries, also known as preterm births, are births
that occur before the 37th week of gestation. In India, premature births are a
major public health concern, accounting for roughly 25% of all newborn
fatalities and 13% of all under-five mortality.With 3.02 million preterm births
in 2020, India accounted for more than 20% of all preterm births globally.

Some Of The Most Common Causes Of Premature
Birth In India

1.   
Infections:
In the mother, including as generalised, oral, urinary tract, and genital tract
infections, can cause inflammation and raise the risk of preterm labour.

2.   
Malnutrition:
A poor diet that lacks protein, calcium, and micronutrients can disrupt the
growth and development of the foetus and placenta, increasing the risk of
premature birth.

3.   
High blood
pressure
: Preeclampsia and placental abruption can occur during pregnancy,
resulting in an early birth or caesarean surgery.

4.   
Diabetes:
Uncontrolled diabetes during pregnancy can result in foetal macrosomia (big
baby), polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid), and congenital abnormalities,
increasing the requirement for early labour induction or caesarean birth.

5.   
Twins, triplets,
or more
: Kids can be born as a result of natural conception or assisted
reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilisation. Preterm birth can
result from several pregnancies due to uterine overdistension, placental
insufficiency, or maternal problems.

These are some of the variables that contribute to India’s
rising rate of preterm births. Preventing and treating these risk factors can
help reduce the burden of preterm delivery and its consequences.

How to Prevent Premature Deliveries

Premature Births in India: An Overview of the Causes and Prevention Strategies

Premature deliveries, also known as preterm births, occur
before the 37th week of pregnancy. Premature births can have major effects for
the kids’ life and development, such as breathing difficulties, brain
haemorrhage, infections, and cerebral palsy.As a result, it is vital to avoid
them as much as possible while also providing enough care for those who are
born prematurely.

Some Methods For Preventing Premature Births

1.   
Maintaining a
healthy lifestyle
: A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole
grains, pulses, and legumes can help provide adequate nutrition for both the
mother and the newborn. To reduce the risk of preterm birth, tobacco, alcohol,
and recreational drugs should be avoided.

2.   
Getting regular
prenatal care:
Having at least eight encounters with health professionals
throughout pregnancy can help identify and manage risk factors such as
infections, hypertension, diabetes, multiple pregnancies, and uterine or
cervical issues. Early ultrasound measures of the foetus can assist in
calculating gestational age and detect multiple pregnancies.

3.   
Taking progesterone
supplements
: Progesterone is a hormone that aids in the maintenance of
pregnancy. Women who have a history of spontaneous preterm labour or a
shortened cervix can benefit from progesterone supplementation beginning at 16
weeks and continuing until 34 weeks.

4.   
Consider
cervical cerclage
: Cervical cerclage is a surgical technique that includes
suturing the cervix to keep it from opening early. It may be advised for women
who have a history of incompetent cervix or cervical insufficiency, which can result
in preterm birth.

5.   
Avoiding
needless interventions
: Only for medical reasons, such as fetal distress,
severe preeclampsia, or placental abruption, may labor be induced or a cesarean
delivery be performed before 39 weeks of pregnancy. Elective inductions or
caesarean deliveries can raise the chance of premature birth in subsequent
pregnancies.

These are some of the measures that can be used to assist
prevent premature births and improve outcomes for both the mother and the
infant.

Conclusion

Premature births are a major public health issue in India,
where over 3.5 million kids are delivered prematurely each year. Infections,
hunger, stress, numerous pregnancies, and a lack of antenatal care are some of
the causes of preterm birth.

Improving maternal health, delivering timely and quality
treatment, fostering kangaroo mother care, and raising awareness and education
are all prevention techniques. Premature births can have long-term consequences
for a child’s development and well-being.