Skip to content

Health & Baby

Font Size

More and More Babies Born Too Soon

Premature News

Early Delivery: 'A Problem We Should Have Solved' continued...

"Some studies suggest that if a woman is abused or neglected early in life, she may be hypersensitive to stress," Holzman says. "She may put out more stress hormones, which can affect pregnancy."

Savitz, who is chairman of the department of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is principal investigator for the ongoing Pregnancy, Infection, and Nutrition study, one of the largest and most comprehensive studies to date exploring the potential causes of preterm delivery. Researchers are currently looking at data gathered from 3,000 women and hope to enroll another 2,000 in the study, which examines social, economic, nutritional, and biologic factors possibly related to premature births.

So far, Savitz says, the researchers have found no previously unidentified factors responsible for premature delivery. In fact, analysis of preliminary data suggest that several behaviors thought to be associated with preterm delivery -- like smoking cigarettes and using cocaine -- may not be.

"Obviously, both of these things play a big role in fetal development, but our findings suggest they don't influence delivery," Savitz says. "There are a lot of hypotheses and very little clear data on what the relevant risk factors for preterm birth are. I wish I could tell you we have some striking new evidence of what causes this, but so far we are finding more things that aren't related."

1|2|3

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
Mother with baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
 
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.
 

mother holding baby at night
ARTICLE
mother with sick child
QUIZ
 
baby with pacifier
VIDEO
Track Your Babys Vaccines
TOOL
 
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Slideshow
Woman holding feet up to camera
Article
 
Father kissing newborn baby
Article
baby gear slideshow
Slideshow