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Doctor insights on: Preterm Labor

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Dr. Guy VanDell
267 doctors shared insights

Preterm Labor (Definition)

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

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What is considered a preterm labor?

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. Lydia Collins
Board Certified, Gynecology
30 years in practice
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What are the symptoms that can arise before, during, or after preterm labor?

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

Dr. Lydia Collins
Board Certified, Gynecology
30 years in practice
34.0M people helped
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High risk pregnancy (Tip)

High risk pregnancy

When is the due date? What symptoms to look out for? (preterm labor, pre-eclampsia, etc.). ...See more

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Preparing for Labor and Delivery (Checklist)

Watch for signs of labor - increasing contractions or fluid leakage
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If baby isn't moving, do kick counts. Should feel 10 in 2 hours or 5 in 1.
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Call your doc with any questions or concerns
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What are the symptoms of preterm labor you notice first?

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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What are the signs of preterm labor?

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

Board Certified, Gynecology
30 years in practice
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Vitamins and supplements (Tip)

Vitamins and supplements

Folate reduces some birth defects of heart and nervous system. May reduce preterm labor & autism. ...See more

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Preparing for Labor and Delivery (Checklist)

Pack a change of clothes for you & labor partner
Once
Bring soothing music to listen to during labor
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Ask if you can bring popsicles to help hydrate
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Pack an outfit for your baby
Once
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Diagnosed with partial/marginal placenta previa (25 wks). Precautions? Worried about preterm labor, placenta has not moved up since 17 wk scan.

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

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. 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. Lydia Collins
Board Certified, Gynecology
30 years in practice
34.0M people helped
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