One in nine babies will be born prematurely. That’s more than 450,000 each year in the United States. While the preterm birth rate in 2012 was at a 15-year low, there is still much progress to be made. Because of the statistics and the life-threatening potential of premature labor, it is vital to understand the risks and complications associated with preterm birth.\nPreterm Birth Causes and Risks\nRisk factors of premature birth include:\n\nChronic health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure\nPregnancy with multiples (triplets or twins)\nUterine or cervical problems\nConsuming alcohol or drugs\nInfections during pregnancy\nPhysical trauma or stress\nPrior preterm labor\nIn vitro fertilization\nPoor nutrition\nSmoking\n\nTo combat these statistics, Magee-Women’s Hospital, home to the largest NICU in Pennsylvania, is pioneering research on preterm birth. For more information, visit the Magee NICU.\n\nWant to learn more about maternal fetal medicine and preterm birth? Check out our\u00a0Medical Monday’s post on Newborn Medicine.