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Doctor insights on: Preterm Labor

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Dr. Guy VanDell
279 doctors shared insights

Preterm Labor (Overview)

Preterm labor is a condition where the baby's delivery, or labor, begins before 37 weeks of pregnancy.


Dr. Pam Yoder
Board Certified, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
11M people helped
1

1
What is considered a preterm labor?

Dr. Pam Yoder
Board Certified, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
11M people helped

Uterus+cervix change: Labor is the presence of regular contractions plus change in the cervix. When labor occurs before term, or 37 completed weeks of gestation, then it is considered preterm labor. If born too early, the premature newborn faces some problems like difficulty breathing, poor resistance to infection, bleeding in the head, etc. An OB expert needs to evaluate all cases and determine whether to try to stop. ...Read more

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Dr. Jane van Dis
Board Certified
13 years in practice
44M people helped
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Dr. Jane van Dis
Board Certified
13 years in practice
44M people helped
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Dr. Guy VanDell
279 doctors shared insights

Preterm Labor (Overview)

Preterm labor is a condition where the baby's delivery, or labor, begins before 37 weeks of pregnancy.


Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
Board Certified, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
21 years in practice
16M people helped
2

2
What are the symptoms that can arise before, during, or after preterm labor?

Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
Board Certified, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
21 years in practice
16M people helped
What are the symptoms that can arise before, during, or after preterm labor?

Pain, bleeding.: Usually preterm labor is manifested with abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, fever or leaking fluid per vaginam. As it progresses to preterm birth, it invariably causes severe pelvic pain and pressure and should be managed in a tertiary hospital with nicu availability. ...Read more

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Dr. Jane van Dis
Board Certified
13 years in practice
44M people helped
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Dr. Jane van Dis
Board Certified
13 years in practice
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Dr. Jane van Dis
Board Certified, Obstetrics and Gynecology
13 years in practice
44M people helped
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3
Having a Healthy Third Trimester (Tip)

Having a Healthy Third Trimester

Avoid stress and over exertion/dehydration. They can cause preterm birth and small babies. ...See more

Dr. Patrick Ramsey
Board Certified, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
22 years in practice
82K people helped
4

4
What are the symptoms of preterm labor you notice first?

Dr. Patrick Ramsey
Board Certified, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
22 years in practice
82K people helped
What are the symptoms of preterm labor you notice first?

Cramping/Contrations: Cramping and contractions are common. Tightening of the abdomen can also be noted. Rhythmic back pain, pevlic pressure, change in vaginal discharge, spotting or bleeding, or large gush of fluid can also be a sign. In any case where there is concern, the pregnant woman should seek immediate care with her OB provider or at an OB facility. ...Read more

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Dr. Jane van Dis
Board Certified
13 years in practice
44M people helped
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Dr. Pam Yoder
Board Certified, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
11M people helped
5

5
What are the signs of preterm labor?

Dr. Pam Yoder
Board Certified, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
11M people helped
What are the signs of preterm labor?

Contractions, other: Contractions with cervical change before term define preterm labor. They can be mild or irregular, accompanied by discharge, back pain, etc. If preterm, especially with risk factors (eg, twins, diabetes), it is always appropriate to call OB or go to labor & delivery asap. An evaluation by physician is needed. Sometimes a transfer to a perinatal center is required, and it can take time to mobilize. ...Read more

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Dr. Jane van Dis
Board Certified, Obstetrics and Gynecology
13 years in practice
44M people helped
6

6
Having a Healthy Third Trimester (Tip)

Having a Healthy Third Trimester

Ask doc for labor symptoms ask doc about kick counts avoid long trips. Keep yourself hydrated. ...See more

Dr. Bruce J. Stringer
Board Certified, Radiology
42 years in practice
1M people helped
7

7
Diagnosed with partial/marginal placenta previa (25 wks). Precautions? Worried about preterm labor, placenta has not moved up since 17 wk scan.

Dr. Bruce J. Stringer
Board Certified, Radiology
42 years in practice
1M people helped
Diagnosed with partial/marginal placenta previa (25 wks). Precautions? Worried about preterm labor, placenta has not moved up since 17 wk scan.

Try to relax!: It's still fairly early to be worried. Most patients with marginal placentas deliver vaginally without incident. If this is your first pregnancy your lower uterine segment will not soften until fairly close to term so the placenta may appear to be low until fairly late. As long as there isn't significant vaginal bleeding you shouldn't worry. ...Read more

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Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
Board Certified, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
21 years in practice
16M people helped
8

8
How do I know the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and preterm labor?

Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
Board Certified, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
21 years in practice
16M people helped
How do I know the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and preterm labor?

Pain & frequency: True labor is generally painful, or at least associated with pelvic pressure and/or backache. True contractions come every 5-10 minutes, whereas false contractions of braxton-hicks come every 30 minutes. If in doubt, consult your obstetrician asap. ...Read more

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Dr. Jane van Dis
Board Certified, Obstetrics and Gynecology
13 years in practice
44M people helped
9

9
Having a Healthy Third Trimester (Tip)

Having a Healthy Third Trimester

In active labor, eating and drinking can precipitate nausea and vomiting. ...See more

Dr. Marilynn Frederiksen
Board Certified, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
42 years in practice
1M people helped
10

10
Can mag withdrawal cause preterm labor?

Dr. Marilynn Frederiksen
Board Certified, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
42 years in practice
1M people helped
Can mag withdrawal cause preterm labor?

Preterm labor: Premature labor is caused by inflammation or infection. Magnesium has been used for the treatment of premature labor, but multiple studies have shown that it doesn't really stop contractions. Its use for this indication is declining. Withdrawing an ineffective medication can't cause premature labor. ...Read more

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Dr. John Holden
85 doctors shared insights

Early Onset Of Labor (Definition)

Early onset of labor is also known as Preterm labor. Early onset of labor is a clinical finding in which the birth process begins before the ...Read more


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Dr. Jane van Dis
Board Certified, Obstetrics and Gynecology
13 years in practice
44M people helped
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