Celine Dion Hospitalized to Prevent Premature Birth of Twins

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A spokesperson at St. Mary's Medical Center in Palm Beach, Florida has confirmed that Celine Dion, pregnant with twin boys, has been admitted to the hospital as a precaution to prevent premature birth. According to Ryan Leiber, the five-time Grammy award winner is under observation by doctors to ensure she is in close contact with the resources needed should she go into labor early, a common practice for mothers of twins.

Observation is Standard of Care for Mothers of Twins

Ms. Dion, 42, and her husband call the pregnancy a miracle, as they finally conceived via in-vitro fertilization after seven attempts plus a recent miscarriage. The twin boys are due next month.

The normal gestation period for a human baby is about 40 weeks. By definition, a premature birth takes place more than three weeks before the due date, according to a fact sheet by the Mayo Clinic. Premature babies run the risk of various medical and developmental problems, including breathing difficulties due to immature lungs and increased risk for conditions such as cerebral palsy.

Ms. Dion is at risk for preterm labor not only due to carrying multiple fetuses, but also because she conceived via in-vitro fertilization, has experienced a miscarriage, and is of advanced maternal age (over 35). Other risk factors include problems with the uterus, cervix, or placenta, poor nutrition, being underweight or overweight, chronic health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and the use of tobacco, alcohol or drugs during pregnancy. Also, studies indicate that black mothers are more likely to experience preterm labor, although the reasons for the connection aren’t clear.

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Read: Obesity During Pregnancy Increases Risk of Premature Birth

Symptoms of preterm labor include contractions that occur more than eight times each hour, low dull backache, pelvic pressure or pain, vaginal spotting or bleeding and a watery vaginal discharge.

If preterm labor seems likely, women will be closely examined and monitored. A swab of the cervical canal may be tested for the presence of fetal fibronectin, a substance discharged during labor. Treatments used to stop premature labor include bed rest, medications that stop contractions (usually given intravenously or by injection), or a suturing of the cervix called cervical cerclage.

Read: New Vitamin D Recommendation for Pregnant Women

Although anyone can experience premature labor, a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy can reduce the risks of it occurring. These include regular prenatal care, a healthy diet, management of chronic medical conditions, stress reduction, and avoiding risky substances.

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