A comprehensive prevention agenda is needed to better understand the multiple and complex causes and risk factors associated with preterm birth and implement effective strategies. Future trials need to include biochemical validation of non-smoking status, collection of outcome data on birth-weight, preterm birth and perinatal deaths and a relapse prevention component for those who have stopped smoking before the first antenatal visit. Some steps that need to be taken in the future in the area of preterm birth research are -
Researching the causes and risk factors for preterm delivery - Some of the important risk factors associated with preterm birth are multi-fetal pregnancies, cervical abnormalities, medical history, smoking, alcohol use, low socio-economic status and race / ethnicity. Research studies that help identification of risk factors help in early intervention and treatment.
As smoking cessation programs have been shown to increase smoking cessation, reduce preterm birth and low birth-weight, and increase mean birth-weight, smoking cessation programs need to be implemented in all maternity care settings. Attention to smoking behavior together with support for smoking cessation and relapse prevention needs to be as routine a part of antenatal care.
Prevention of preterm birth is featured.