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Staying Pregnant Longer


Staying pregnant longer is better for your baby.
 

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Staying Pregnant Longer


Staying pregnant longer is better for your baby.
 

Premature births are one of the leading causes of infant mortality – the death of a baby before his or her first birthday.

If your baby is born prematurely (AKA “preterm”), he or she may have more health and developmental problems than a baby born full term. It also increases their chance of death before their first birthday.

WHAT IS A PRETERM BIRTH?

When a baby is born after spending less than 37 weeks in the mother’s womb, it’s called a preterm birth. This is also known as a premature birth or a “preemie.”

A full term birth means a baby is born after spending between 39 weeks and 40 weeks + 6 days in the mother’s womb.

If you have had a preterm birth in the past, you are at risk for having another one in your next pregnancy.  This is true even if you have carried a baby to full term before or after a previous premature delivery.

Why is it important to carry my baby full term?

Medical experts have learned that the last weeks of pregnancy can help your baby prepare for life outside of the womb. If your pregnancy is healthy, staying pregnant for at least 39 weeks is important.

Why? Because staying pregnant longer is better for the growth and development of your baby’s brain and other organs.

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Brain.
Baby’s brain at 35 weeks weighs only two-thirds of what it will weigh at 39-40.

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Lungs & Liver
Babies born too early may have breathing problems and jaundice after birth.

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Eyes & Ears
Babies born too early are more likely to have vision and hearing problems.

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Oral
Babies born too early may have difficulty learning to suck and swallow.

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17P Right For Me


How can 17P help me and my baby?
 

17P Right For Me


How can 17P help me and my baby?
 

17P is a weekly medicine that can help you stay pregnant longer.

What is 17P?

17P is a synthetic form of progesterone, a hormone that plays a crucial role during pregnancy.  (The clinical name for 17P is 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate.)

Progesterone helps your uterus (womb) grow and prevents complications, like having contractions too early in your pregnancy. This can lead to miscarriage or premature birth.

Progesterone also helps your lungs give oxygen to your growing baby, and helps your breasts prepare to make breast milk to feed your infant when they’re born.

17P is safe for you and your baby, and can help you stay pregnant longer.

In fact, taking 17P increases your chances of having a full-term baby by 33%. That means you’re 33% more likely to have a full term baby if you take 17P.

17P is given as a series of shots, beginning between 16-24 weeks of pregnancy. You get a shot once a week, every week, until you reach 37 weeks.

IS 17P RIGHT FOR ME?

17P can be effective for pregnant women who meet both of these descriptions:

  1. You were pregnant previously with only one child, and you had an early, unplanned birth. Maybe the sac around your baby broke early, causing you to go into labor, or labor began early on it's own, without the use of drugs or other methods.

  2. You are currently pregnant with one baby, not twins or triplets.

Women who are currently pregnant with more than one baby, or women who have had a previous pregnancy with multiple babies that resulted in preterm births, are not eligible to take 17P.

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Know About 17P


Things to Know About 17P

Know About 17P


Things to Know About 17P

IS 17P Safe? 

Yes, 17P is FDA approved and safe for you and your baby. According to the March of Dimes, research on babies of moms who took the shots shows no increase in birth defects or developmental problems in the first 4 years of life.

How do I take 17P?

17P is given as a series of shots, beginning between 16-24 weeks of pregnancy. Ideally, you start taking 17P as close to your 16th week of pregnancy as possible. You get a shot once a week, every week, until you reach 37 weeks.

What are the side effects of taking 17P?

As with many shots, you can expect to experience some pain or discomfort around the injection site (the place on your body where you get the shot). This is the most common side effect.

What is the cost of taking 17P?

Colorado Medicaid programs and insurance companies can help pay for the shots.

Where do I get 17P?

Ask your healthcare provider if 17P is right for you. If so, and if you choose to take 17P, your healthcare provider will administer the shots to you on a weekly basis.

How will I get to my weekly 17P appointments?

It’s important to go to all of your weekly 17P appointments once you begin taking 17P. Before you start, think about whether you will need transportation to your health provider, and what arrangements you may need to make to be sure you can get to all of your appointments. If you are on Medicaid, you can qualify for transportation support.

What other factors should I consider before taking 17P?

Your weekly 17P appointments could mean you have to take time away from work or other responsibilities, such as childcare. Plan ahead, and share information about 17P with your family and friends so they can support you during your pregnancy, and help you make sure you receive your 17P injection every week.

Does taking 17P guarantee I won’t have a preterm birth?

No, there is no 100% guarantee that your baby will be born full term if you take 17P. But it has been shown to increase your chances of staying pregnant longer by 33%.


Talk to your health provider to find out if 17P is right for you if:

  • you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant.

  • you’re pregnant with only one child, and you have previously had a spontaneous preterm birth of only one child.

Visit the March of Dimes for more information on 17P and how it can help prevent preterm births.

 
 

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Colorado Maternal and Child Health Block Grant (B04MC28087). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.