top of page
Causes of Premature Birth

Pregnancies With A High Risk of Preterm Birth: Causes, Risks & Symptoms

What are some of the causes of premature birth?

In Canada, 1 in 12 live births are preterm, which means before 37 weeks gestation.

It’s important to be informed.


The Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Canada states the following as being the most common causes of premature birth:

  • Not having regular prenatal care

  • The mother having high blood pressure

  • A great deal of stress in the mother’s life

  • Physical abuse from a partner or someone else

  • Expecting multiples

  • Having had a previous baby that was born too early

  • A body weight of less than 45.5 kg (100 pounds)

  • Living with a chronic illness

  • Smoking

  • Working long hours (more than 8 hours a day or shift work), or work that is physically strenuous

Preventing Preterm Birth

You may have heard that you might be at high risk for a preterm birth, or you have had a previous premature baby, if so, this infographic will be helpful for you.

A preterm birth can present unique challenges, but remember, you are not alone. A strong network of medical professionals, family, and friends are ready to support you and your family.

Helpful reminders:

Although every pregnancy is different it is important that you take care of yourself, both your physical and mental health.

  • Keep all scheduled appointments with your doctor or healthcare provider.

  • Have a health plan that includes healthy weight gain, good nutrition, and safe exercise.

  • If you have a pre-existing medical condition talk to your doctor or any medical specialists involved your care.

  • Ask questions, talk about your concerns, you are not bothering your healthcare team.

  • Reach out to support groups, connect with other parents who have experienced similar journeys, and draw strength from their stories.

For more information, please visit the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Canada information page:

New! Infographic: Identifying Risks of Preterm Birth

Screen Shot 2023-07-15 at 3.27.52 PM.png

We created a preterm birth Infographic which will provide you with more important information on how to decrease the risk of having a preterm baby.

PDF format 422 KB (1 page)

Screen Shot 2024-01-22 at 7.51.23 PM.png

Pregnancy after a previous preterm birth.


Your risk for another preterm birth is higher if you have had a preterm birth. Here is what you need to know. 

PDF format 422 KB (1 page)

bottom of page