More than 1 in 10 babies are born before 37 weeks in the United States. That statistic of preterm births costs the United States $26 Billion per year.
For a country that has access to some of the most advanced medical technologies available, that rate of premature births is atrocious. It's embarrassing, and it shows how much we are ignoring what's right in front of our faces.
We have to stop ignoring this
I have said it many times & I’ll keep saying it until I’m blue in the face: as long as we ignore the health of our nervous system inside of prenatal care, we will not see a meaningful decrease in the preterm birth rate.
We just will not.
Is it the only answer to improve our preterm birth rate? Of course not.
Human biology is too complex to be reduced to simplistic cause & effect usually. But it’s the piece of the puzzle the medical system is constantly glossing over at best & ignoring at worst.
The research has been there for decades. See Pregnancy Brain for a recap of these details.
The March of Dimes has acknowledged stress physiology as a risk factor for preterm delivery on par with recreational drug use.
So why is there still such strong pushback around this? There are so many reasons.
The misinformation about what stress physiology actually is among medical professionals and the lay community (check out this video where I go into more details about this)
The avoidance of incorporating integrative practices into Western medicine (details about this is Pregnancy Brain)
The fact that "stress" and "trauma" are used incorrectly in everyday language, even among professionals (listen to Delivering Miracles®️ episode 137 for more about this)
Ignoring this is hurting women, children and families
With prematurity and complications due to prematurity as the number one cause of deaths in children under the age of 5, ignoring this factor in prenatal care is literally hurting women, children and families.
Think of all of the preterm births we can prevent if women have access to neurologically based supports that can help them stay pregnant.
Think of how many preemies can stay in the womb even a day or a week longer if this aspect of health was actually valued in this country.
Just think of what could be possible for your pregnancy.
The truth is, you can’t breathe or think your way to the neuro-endo-immune balance that is essential for a healthy pregnancy. Unfortunately, that's the type of advice that's out there (even shared by mental health and women's health care professionals) and it doesn't work for a very specific reason.
Working toward that neuro-endo-immune balance that I talk about throughout Pregnancy Brain is comprised of a multitude of factors including body work, trauma informed patient advocacy and health education, and somatic healing before and during pregnancy. It is this delicate work we do together, led entirely by their body, that helps my Path to Baby clients challenge & beat medical odds.
You deserve better
My life’s mission is to help end prematurity and this is why I will not stop talking about nervous system health as a critical piece of the solution. Again, this is not the same as deep breathing, being more grateful, resting more, or chilling out.
This is deep, delicate, powerful integrative work that is essential to improving pregnancy outcomes.
As long as we avoid including stress physiology as part of prenatal care - especially if they’re at risk of delivering early...
As long as medical and mental health providers believe stress is a mental issue and the solution is to "relax"...
As long as these myths keep perpetuating, we will not see a reduction in preterm birth rates.
But you don't have to wait for the world to get on board. My clients are already experiencing what it's like to defy medical odds, bring their own blood pressure down so they don't' need unnecessary interventions, stop their own preterm contractions so they can stay at home. You can have that support too.
Learn more about the Path to Baby program and if it feels like a good fit, schedule your call so we can discuss how I can best support you to improve your outcomes in your next pregnancy.