You’re expecting. Chances are you will experience a marvelous journey of new discoveries and wonder as you prepare to meet your little one for the first time after a full-term pregnancy, typically at 39-40 weeks.

Sometimes babies come sooner on their own than expected. Premature birth is any delivery that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy. It is one of the main causes of death before one year of age. Many premature newborns will need to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for weeks or months before being able to go home.  

There are new recommendations for women who have had a premature birth in the past. Progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone, has been shown to markedly decrease the incidence of preterm birth. There are cases in which a woman would qualify for this medication and possibly improve her chances of making it to term. It is believed to help with preterm contractions and delivery. Discuss progesterone with your OB-GYN or high-risk pregnancy (Maternal-Fetal Medicine) doctor to see if it’s right for you.

The March of Dimes continues to lead research into the effectiveness of progesterone and other treatment options to help prevent premature birth. Learn more here:

You may or may not qualify for progesterone treatment in your next or current pregnancy. Please ask your doctor if you could possibly benefit from the injection or if you should be evaluated by a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist.