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Preterm labor is defined as the stage where the baby is not able to gain weight or is born before the 37th week of pregnancy. Premature labor is associated with two distinct risk factors namely, genetic disorders or metabolic or demographic factors. Metabolic factors include underdeveloped kidneys and impaired digestion, where the cause of bacterial infection and inflammation is the same as in the case of humans.

As per statistical data, around 28% of neonatal deaths occur because of preterm labor, and the overall incidence of preterm labor globally is approximately 11.5%. There are many different causes, including sub-fecundity of the fetus, preterm delivery by Cesarean delivery, and incorrect maternal care. The primary reason for the underdevelopment of the fetus is maternal nutrition or delayed maternal feeding during pregnancy. Another cause of this is the wrong timing of delivery. The underdeveloped placenta is another reason for premature labor.

In order to avoid preterm labor and ensure that the mother gives birth to a healthy child, it is essential to follow proper health care. Prevention includes proper diet, regular exercise, and ensuring proper nutritional needs. Maternal nutrition includes ensuring adequate intake of vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, and folic acid. The risk factors that increase the chances of birth to preterm infants are poor maternal nutrition and the use of inappropriate antibiotics. Maternal infections like Staphylococcus, Chlamydia, and gonorrhea increase the risk of intrauterine infections and cause inflammatory processes that increase the growth of bacteria. The use of inappropriate antibiotics such as cephalosporins and triclosan also increases the risk of bacterial infection and complications during labor and birth.

If medical therapy cannot prevent or postpone labor, then using medications to induce ovulation in women or taking tablets to reduce estrogen levels are good ways to shorten labor. Taking oral contraceptives that contain at least a modulator molecule that can act on the ovaries allows the body to respond to the hormones without risking the possibility of rupture. It also allows the uterus to relax and allows for more complete cervical ripening and dilation.