Earlier this month, the March of Dimes released the first annual report card for preterm births and the results are shocking. Not a single state in the U.S. received an ‘A’, and only Vermont received a ‘B’. In 2005, the U.S. preterm birth rate was 12.7% (the most recent year for data). The preterm birth rate has increased about 20% since 1990, and costs the nation more than $26 billion a year. Babies who survive a preterm birth face the risk of serious lifelong health problems.

According to Midwifery Today, the most common physical reason for preterm labor is inadequate maternal nutrition. As part of my prenantal care with a midwife, nutrition was a major part of discussion and of my care. I don’t know if doctors stress the importance of good nutrition in preventing preterm labor, as well as many other pregnancy-related complications.

Dr. Thomas Brewer has a website (blueribbonbaby.org) devoted to promoting good nutrition and helping women apply the “Brewer Diet”. The website includes checklists for specialized diets (vegetarian and vegan) and supplemental plans for women carrying multiples.

If women commit themselves to good nutrition, and work with care providers who not only understand the importance of good nutrition during pregnancy but encourage it, they are taking an important step to ensure a full-term birth.

Our son was born at 39 weeks 6 days, weighed 8 lbs 0.5 ounces, and was wonderfully healthy and perfect in every way. I received all my prenatal care from a wonderful team of midwives at a local free-standing birth center. Feel free to read my birth story.

Our son, two days old

Wendy – Parenting Tips 365

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