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 ba