might have heard it referred to as preterm labor. Preterm labor,
also called premature labor, includes contractions and labor that
happen before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Many women spend a lot of
their time worrying about the possibility of preterm labor. It
is fairly rare for women to experience preterm labor, and sometimes
it can be treated or prevented. Premature infants may have complications
with their health because they are often born without fully developed
organs. Of course, these risks are greater the earlier the baby
Some risk factors that contribute to preterm labor and delivery
- Prior preterm birth
- Alcohol, drugs or cigarette use (If you drink, smoke, or use
illegal drugs or medications your doctor hasn’t okayed,
you’re putting your infant in danger and making preterm
labor more likely. )
- Ruptured membranes
- Multiple birth
- Chronic illness (If you have a preexisting chronic illness
or condition, such as diabetes, liver or heart disease, you might
be at a high risk for preterm labor and delivery.)
There are many more causes of preterm labor, most of which are
beyond your control. Sometimes, preterm labor is simply inexplicable.
But, if you take care of yourself and eat right and don’t
put too much stress on your body, you will be on the right track
to minimizing those risks.
There are also false calls for pregnant women who may think they
are experiencing preterm labor. Braxton Hicks contractions are
a common cause for concern in pregnant women in the second and
third trimesters. Braxton Hicks contractions are considered “warm-up” exercises
where you might feel contractions, but they usually disappear with
activity. Remember that true labor contractions don’t subside
with activity and may be accompanied by a change in vaginal fluid
to a blood-streaked discharge and the rupture of membranes. If
you have any difficulty telling the difference, contact your provider.
It’s always better to be safe.
Click below to read about related topics.
What to Expect
Pain & Pain Relief
Premature Labor &