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 is born.
Some risk factors that
contribute to preterm labor and delivery include:
- 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
- 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 and Pain Relief
Premature Labor and