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Most babies are born healthy at or near their due date. Sometimes, though, babies are born early and might have health problems.
Babies born before 37 weeks are premature. A premature birth is more likely to happen when a mother has certain health problems — like diabetes — or does harmful things during her pregnancy, like smoke or drink. If she lives with a lot of stress, that also can make her baby be born too early.
Many things can cause a baby to be born early or with health problems. Some of these things can be controlled, but others can't. Here's what you can do to have a healthy pregnancy.
During pregnancy, help your baby grow strong and healthy. Be sure to:
Some things that may increase the chances of a premature birth are out of your control. This doesn't mean that your baby will be born sick or too early. Remember, most babies are born healthy.
Here are some things you can't control during pregnancy:
If you're pregnant or are planning to be, talk with your health care professional. Women who get regular prenatal care are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and baby.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2018 KidsHealth® All rights reserved. Images provided by Cook Children's, The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.