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I've shared before our struggle to grow our family, and how parenthood didn't come easy to us. I spent months on bed rest with each of our daughters and even then Maddie was born at 34 weeks and Ashley was born at 35 weeks. They were both considered preemies, but I knew we were so lucky to have even made it that far.
With Maddie, I went into labor at 18 weeks and I had no warning signs or risk factors. It was also my first pregnancy so I didn't completely understand the symptoms once they started happening. I went to the doctor after waiting it out at home thinking it was normal and the doctor checked me out and said it was just my uterus stretching. That made total sense to me. Fast forward two weeks and I was then in full labor at 20 weeks, which could have been disastrous, but by then I was showing outward signs of pre-term labor and they were able to stop it.
I look back at those times and think about how different things could have been had my doctor and I known that I was at risk for a preterm birth. There wasn't a test available back then for those that were not having any symptoms, but there is now and it is called PreTRM.
PreTRM as the first and only prenatal blood test that is clinically validated to be an excellent predictor of preterm birth in all asymptomatic women who are pregnant with one baby, early in her pregnancy.
If I had known about PreTRM when I was first pregnant I would have jumped (okay I wouldn't have actually jumped, I was pregnant and all), at the chance to take this test to have as a tool for my doctor and I to help prevent my pre-term births.
Preterm birth (defined as before 37 weeks) is a large health and economic problem in the U.S. and traditional methods fail to identify the great majority (more than 85%) of asymptomatic women carrying a single child, resulting in too many babies being born too early with health problems that can last a lifetime. Ashley has asthma and we have been told that her early birth could be to blame.
Did you know that in the U.S., 1 in 10 pregnancies end in a premature birth? This is one of the highest rates in the developed world. Certain women are also at an increased risk and don’t know it, and 50% of women who have a premature birth have no risk factors. Sadly, the best predictor of preterm birth is a previous spontaneous preterm birth. However, 40% of women who have a premature birth are first first-time moms. This is where taking the PreTRM test is extra valuable. After I had Maddie at 34 weeks we knew that I was at an increased risk of having another preterm birth, but there was no way to know this risk before she was born early. I am so happy that PreTRM is available so that others don't have to go through what we did. If you want more info about PreTRM visit their website and be sure to talk to your doctor about preterm birth.