(KUTV) Doctors say there are a lot of premature births in Utah. Babies born early could have serious medical problems and that is why they say women need to take care of themselves before they get pregnant.
A premature birth is often the result of an underlining problem that surfaces before, during, or even after a pregnancy. “One of the most common ones we see from a medical maternal standpoint is hypertension and diabetes,” says Doctor Lexi Eller, a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist at Intermountain Medical Center. “A pregnancy can be high risk for a number of different reasons. Sometimes they can be maternal, or a condition affecting the mother. Pregnancy can be high risk because of something specific to the pregnancy, so high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy. Also pregnancy can be high risk because of something that is going on with the baby.”
Dr. Eller works with women experiencing a high risk pregnancy. She watches them closely and works with their obstetrician. Doctor Eller says a high risk pregnancy can happen at any time and that is why it is important you see your doctor regularly even before you get pregnant. “It is important to look at your health if you are considering having a baby in the next 1-to-5 years. And to get in and see your general doctor and to make sure there aren’t any medical conditions that you can treat and optimize now.”
Women also need to start taking a prenatal vitamin, or a multivitamin, even before you get pregnant. Vitamins have folic acid, which studies show can reduce the chances of your baby having a birth defect.
Channel 2 has partnered with the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Health Care for the “Baby Your Baby” campaign. For more information, visit: www.babyyourbaby.org.
If you have questions, you can also call (800) 826-9662.
For information on Maternal Fetal Medicine, visit: http://intermountainhealthcare.org
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)