premature labour signs
Premature labour is defined that begins before 37 weeks of pregnancy. It may be normal (term) or preterm (less than 37 weeks). However, it can result in death for the baby. In the UK, 1 in 8 babies is born prematurely.
If labour is started too early, the baby can't stay inside the mother long enough for its organs to fully form.
Some babies are at higher risk than others, including those who are small or have other health problems. You should also watch for warning signs if you've had a premature birth before. Complications that could result in preterm labour are called risk factors.
premature labour Signs Include:
• Contractions (regular or irregular) with or without pain
• Vaginal bleeding, watery blood-stained show
• Stomach cramps; lower backache; pelvic pressure; period-like pain, round ligament pain (pain at the top of thighs before 32 weeks)
• If you're less than 37 weeks pregnant and any of the below happen, go to the hospital immediately:
• Your waters break
• You have strong regular contractions (about every 10 minutes) for more than one hour, and there's no slowing during pushing or pain relief.
If you think your labor has started, it's best to go to the hospital as soon as possible. Don't wait for contractions to become regular (about every 10 minutes).
If your waters break, try to determine whether they were broken before labour started or whether you're leaking amniotic fluid. If it's the latter, this doesn't mean you've gone into labor, and you should still go to the hospital.
• Some women go into labour naturally at the end of their pregnancy. This is called spontaneous labour, and it's normal. If you're more than 37 weeks pregnant, this isn't considered premature labor.
• Premature labour is an illness that causes your body to start contracting before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. As a result, it can cause a baby to be born too early or premature.
• Some women go into labour soon after their membranes rupture (water breaks or ruptured membranes). But, again, this isn't considered premature labour if you're more than 37 weeks pregnant.
• If your waters break, it's not certain that you'll go into labor straight away. It may be days or weeks before you have contractions. After that, you'll just have to wait and see if your labour starts on its own.
If you think you are going into labour, your hospital will ask you to come in for a check-up. If it's the weekend or after hours, go straight to the emergency room or call an ambulance. When you get there, they may:
• Do a vaginal examination: This is when they check your cervix by putting their fingers into your vagina to see how open it is.
• Do a urine test: This checks for certain chemicals made when you're in labour.
• Do an ultrasound scan: This uses sound waves to build up an image on a screen of the baby inside you, which shows whether they are healthy and how far along in pregnancy you are.
• Give you steroid injections: These help the baby's lungs develop if they're born very early and can often stop labour starting.
How To Stop Premature Labour?
• If you think you'll have a caesarean section, talk to your doctor or midwife about having another steroid injection around the time they would normally do this. This can help improve the baby's lung development.
• Avoid vaginal examinations if possible; they could start labour. Also, try not to let anyone put anything into your vagina, such as a tampon.
• Keep active and eat healthy foods.
• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids - it may help stop labour from starting in the first place.
• If you can, put your legs up against something, such as the wall or a couch. It may help to go for a walk if possible.
• Try not to worry - it's stressful, but worrying won't stop labour.
Premature labouring usually comes on very suddenly, but it can start gradually. You may feel mild contractions, or your waters may break without any warning signs. However, if you've got strong regular contractions (about every 10 minutes) for more than one hour and there's no slowing during pushing or pain relief, go to the hospital immediately. Premature labour is the condition that causes your body to start contracting before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy.