Pregnancy

Your Preemie Daughter Might Grow Up To Have Some Birthing Troubles Of Her Own

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premature birthFor those ladies who spent some unruly time in the maternity ward, a glance back at your own gestational history might shed some light. Some very limited light for the time being, as new research suggests that being born a preemie yourself might foreshadow some pregnancy complications down the line. Which means that your own preemie daughter might appreciate the heads up come birthing time.

My Health News Daily reports that researchers analyzed data from women born between 1976 and 1995 in Quebec who delivered at least one infant anywhere between 1987 and 2008. Their average age of birth was a healthy 25 and the numbers eventually broke down to reveal 7,405 mothers who were born preterm themselves and 16,714 who were born at term. Nearly 20 percent of women born before the 32 week mark themselves had at least one complication (such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes). Compare that with a few other digits:

 In contrast, only 13.2 percent of women born between 32 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, and 11.7 percent of women who were born at full-term (at least 37 weeks), experienced a complication during their pregnancy.

“Our study showed that preterm birth was a substantial risk factor for pregnancy complications, especially among women who were born before 32 weeks,” the researchers wrote in their study, published today (Sept. 24) in the in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

These same researchers are so far at a loss as to why preemie babies might grow up to have pregnancy complications of their own. But a few observations, and previous research, suggests that women who are born preterm often have undiagnosed risk factors before they conceive (such as blood pressure and higher insulin resistance, reportedly).

While we’re now happily seeing an uptick in the survival rate of preemie babies, this research carries quite the consequences for those girl babies who may decide to one day birth themselves. We’re looking at quite the potential increase in pregnancy complications, and even cardiovascular disease in the general population, for generations to come.

Researchers also determined through this same data that regardless of when babies were born, infants who were deemed tiny for their gestational age were also more likely to experience pregnancy complications.

So file that mental note away for many doctors appointments from now and be prepared to hold her hand through some tricky sonograms— should she even take that path, that is.

(photo: Andrei Zveaghintev/ Shutterstock)