Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level





Osborne, Cara

Committee Member/Reader

Vowell Johnson, Kelly

Committee Member/Second Reader

Ballentine, Hope


Background: Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal and infant mortality and has become a major health concern due to the increasing rates of infant deaths in the United States (WHO, 2017). Studying maternal risk factors for preterm labor provides insight to this obscure condition and can assist in the identification of high risk women, as well as facilitate appropriate pregnancy planning. Purpose: Although research can be found on interpregnancy intervals and maternal age as independent risk factors for premature labor, gaps exist within the relation of these variables. This study was done to investigate whether there is a significant risk association between advanced maternal age (35 years and older) and short interpregnancy intervals on premature labor, that deems transferring out of a low risk birthing center to a more advanced hospitalized setting. Methodology: De-identified data regarding obstetric history, medical history, and pregnancy morbidity was abstracted from women who delivered at Baby + Co., a birthing center in Nashville, Tennessee, between the years of 2015 and 2018. The population set included 1001 women, 5 of which delivered preterm. Means and standard deviations for the two groups were calculated, and two sided t-tests and corresponding p-values were calculated. Result: There was no statistical significance regarding maternal age and preterm transfers (p-value of 0.762). However, there was a positive correlation between short interpregnancy intervals and preterm birth (p-value .007). Discussion: Due to the low risk population included in this study, there is a need for additional research conducted within a higher risk population set to determine the significance and interaction between advanced maternal age and short interpregnancy intervals on preterm labor.


preterm birth, interpregnancy intervals, maternal age, birthing center, low risk