Pregnant Women

Post Updated January, 2021

In the United States, one in ten babies will be born prematurely. That’s about 380,000 each year. While the preterm birth rate from 2014 through 2016 was the lowest it has been in the last 20 years, it has steadily increased since. 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.

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Preterm Birth Causes and Risks

Risk factors of premature birth include:

  • Chronic health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Pregnancy with multiples (triplets or twins)
  • Uterine or cervical problems
  • Consuming alcohol or drugs
  • Infections during pregnancy
  • Physical trauma or stress
  • Prior preterm labor
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Poor nutrition
  • Smoking

To combat these statistics, UPMC Magee is pioneering research on preterm birth. For more information, visit the Magee NICU.

Want to learn more about maternal fetal medicine and preterm birth? Check out our Medical Monday’s post on Newborn Medicine.

About UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital

For more than a century, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital has provided high-quality medical care to women at all stages of life. UPMC Magee is long renowned for its services to women and babies, but also offers a wide range of care to men as well. Nearly 10,000 babies are born each year at Magee, and the hospital’s NICU is one of the largest in the country. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes Magee as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, and the Magee-Womens Research Institute is the largest research institute in the U.S. devoted exclusively to women’s health and reproductive biology.