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Doctors and providers who treat this condition

  

Premature Labor

Premature Labor (also called “Pre-term labor”) is when you start to have symptoms of labor before 37 weeks of pregnancy (3 weeks before your due date). Premature labor can lead to premature delivery. Babies need at least 37 weeks of pregnancy for all the organs to develop normally. The earlier the delivery, the greater the danger to the baby.

In most cases, the actual cause of pre-term labor is unknown. However if you have any of the following conditions, you are at a higher risk:

  • Smoking

  • Alcohol or substance abuse

  • High blood pressure

  • Hyperthyroidism

  • Diabetes

  • Premature labor with other pregnancies

  • Early rupture of the amniotic sac membranes

  • Infection in the uterus

  • “Incompetent” cervix

  • Twin pregnancy (or more)

Contractions are the first sign of premature labor. Contractions are different from cramping. Usually, a contraction is painful and the abdomen gets hard. It can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. Some women may feel only a sense of pressure in the abdomen, thighs, rectum or vagina. Some may feel only the hardening of the uterus without pain or pressure. Or, there may be a constant pain the lower back which spreads forward toward the abdomen.
Premature labor can be treated with medicines and activity restrictions. If the condition is treated early on, your baby will have a much better chance of avoiding a premature delivery.

HOME CARE:

  1. Learn the signs of premature labor.

  2. Don't smoke, drink alcohol or use other harmful substances.

  3. Avoid stress and strenuous work.

  4. Report any unusual symptoms to your doctor.

Follow Up

with your doctor or as advised by our staff.

Get Prompt Medical Attention

if any of the following occur:

  • Four or more contractions in a one-hour period

  • Gush or slow leaking of water from your vagina

  • Any vaginal bleeding

  • Decreased movement of your baby

  • Change in vaginal discharge

  • Something seems wrong, even if you don't know what it is

 

 
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