People with preexisting kidney issues are more likely to have premature babies, especially when those kidney issues have been chronic. The most recent estimates suggest 6 to 11% of their subsequent pregnancies will result in premature births before 37 weeks of gestation.
Recognizing this as a distinct possibility for women living with some sort of kidney disease can help lead to informed counseling about perinatal outcome risk, and closer monitoring of those who are expecting.
A Canadian study followed nearly 56,000 pregnancies and found that there was a 9% rate of premature labor before 37 weeks in those with kidney dysfunction as opposed to the 7% in those with normal function. Mean age of participants in the study was 30.7 years of age with 46% expecting their first child and 26% non-Caucasian. Severe premature labor, however, which occurred before 32 weeks’ gestation was doubled in those with kidney issues. Of these preterm births, 2255 or approximately 57% were induced by a healthcare provider, while 1701 or around 43% were spontaneous.
The researchers recommend measuring serum creatinine in those about to give birth in order to properly assess preterm birth risk and make the necessary subsequent arrangements. It’s a readily available and fairly inexpensive blood test which could detect kidney dysfunction and lead to better outcomes. For more on prenatal kidney care and possible difficulties faced by the expectant parent, be sure to tune in to our YouTube channel, now updated daily with fresh content for all the knowledge you need about keeping your kidneys in tiptop shape.