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Preterm Labor Health Feed

Pre-Term Labour - Symptoms And Risk Factors!

Pre-Term Labour - Symptoms And Risk Factors!

Pre-term labour, also known as premature labour, is when the body starts getting ready for pregnancy earlier than it is supposed to. The labour starts more than three weeks before the due date is. It can lead to an early birth. However, nowadays, the doctors can do a lot to delay the birth and stop a premature birth from happening.

Here are a few things that can increase your risk of a premature labour:

  1. Smoking
  2. Being over or underweight
  3. Bad prenatal care
  4. Alcohol abuse or using drugs while pregnant
  5. Having bad health conditions like hypertension, diabetes
  6. Being pregnant with twins or multiple babies

The symptoms of a premature labour include:

  1. A backache, usually in the lower back.
  2. Contractions with ten-minute intervals
  3. Cramping in the lower abdomen like during periods
  4. Leaking of fluid from the vagina
  5. Feeling nauseous, diarrhoea and flu-like symptoms
  6. Increased vaginal discharge
  7. Extreme vaginal bleeding

There are a few ways with which you can check or make sure whether you will be having an early labour or not. These are:

  1. Put your fingers on your abdomen
  2. If you feel that your uterus is tightening and relaxing and then tightening again, it is likely that you might be having contractions. You should time your contractions. Write the timings down when each contraction starts.
  3. Stand up on your feet and change your positions. Try to relax and stop the contractions.
  4. Drink two to three glasses of water
  5. Call your doctor immediately if you continue having contractions every ten minutes.

Sometimes women have a harmless false labour. It is called the Braxton hicks contractions. However, these are not a part of the labour. In case you have been diagnosed with pre-term labour, you will need treatment. These usually include:

  1. IV fluids
  2. Medicines to stop the labour and relax the uterus
  3. Antibiotics
  4. Medicines to speed up the growth of the baby’s lungs
  5. Being admitted to the hospital

In case you are unable to stop your labour, the doctor will get ready to deliver the baby. The baby is then taken care of, outside in incubators and then released once it is fully grown and healthy. If a baby is premature and is born early, most of them do well as they keep growing old. However, they do have a higher risk of problems. These might include autism, cerebral palsy, lung problems, vision and hearing loss, and intellectual disabilities. The earlier a child is born; it is more likely that they will face health problems. Therefore, it is very important that the mother, as well as the child, is taken very good care of before and after a pre-term labour or birth. Frequent check-ups visits to the doctor are very important.
 

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Preterm Labour - Know Risks Of It!

Preterm Labour - Know Risks Of It!

Premature labour is also known as preterm labour. This is the term given when the body gets ready for early delivery in the pregnancy. Labour is considered to be premature if it starts almost three weeks prior to the due date. Premature labour usually leads to early birth, but now this can be delayed with medical help. It is better than the baby grows inside you because there are fewer chances of problems after birth. 

Risk of Preterm Labor:

Some of the things which can increase the risk of preterm labour are:

- Being underweight or overweight before pregnancy
- Poor prenatal care
- Use of alcohol and drugs during pregnancy
- Smoking
- Health conditions such as preeclampsia, infections, diabetes, high blood pressure and clotting disorders
- Pregnant with a bay with birth defects
- Getting pregnant through vitro fertilization
- Pregnant with multiples like twins and triplets
- Becoming pregnant soon after having a baby

Symptoms of preterm labour:

Warning signs should be heeded to stop the stop premature labour, as acting quickly can help. Consult your doctor or midwife immediately in case you have the following:

- A backache, especially in the lower back. Backache can be a constant feature or might keep coming in intervals, but does not change with a change in position.
- Contractions that take place in each 10 minutes
- A leaking feeling in the vagina or fluid leakage from the vagina
- Cramps in the lower abdomen very similar to menstrual cramps. These usually give a feeling of gas pains and come with a diarrhea
- Symptoms of flu-like vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Must to see a doctor if the liquids cannot be tolerated for more than 8 hours
- The pressure in the vagina or pelvis increases
- Vaginal discharge increases
- There might be light bleeding from the vagina

Ways to check for Contractions

To spot and early labour one must be sure to check for the contractions. Contractions can be checked by the following:

- When the fingertips are placed on the abdomen and the uterus feels too soft or tight then these are contractions.
- Contractions if felt, should be timed and the starting time of these should be noted.
- Contractions should be stopped by changing the position and drinking some water or by walking around
- Doctor or midwife should be contacted if the contractions occur every 10 minutes and the symptoms worsen

Sometime women might experience false labour also known as Braxton Hicks contractions. These are not so strong, are erratic and stop on moving around.

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Preterm Labor - How To Track It?

Preterm Labor - How To Track It?

Premature labor is also known as preterm labor. This is the term given when the body gets ready for early delivery in the pregnancy. Labor is considered to be premature if it starts almost three weeks prior to the due date. Premature labor usually leads to early birth, but now this can be delayed with medical help. It is better that the baby grows inside you because there are fewer chances of problems after birth. 

Risk of Preterm Labor:

Some of the things which can increase the risk of preterm labor are:

- Being underweight or overweight before pregnancy
- Poor prenatal care
- Use of alcohol and drugs during pregnancy
- Smoking
- Health conditions such as preeclampsia, infections, diabetes, high blood pressure and clotting disorders
- Pregnant with a bay with birth defects
- Getting pregnant through vitro fertilization
- Pregnant with multiples like twins and triplets
- Becoming pregnant soon after having a baby

Symptoms of preterm labor:

Warning signs should be heeded to stop the stop premature labor, as acting quickly can help. Consult your doctor or midwife immediately in case you have the following:

- Backache, especially in the lower back. Backache can be a constant feature or might keep coming in intervals, but does not change with a change in position.
- Contractions that take place in each 10 minutes
- A leaking feeling in the vagina or fluid leakage from the vagina
- Cramps in the lower abdomen very similar to menstrual cramps. These usually give a feeling of gas pains and come with a diarrhea
- Symptoms of flu-like vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Must to see a doctor if the liquids cannot be tolerated for more than 8 hours
- The pressure in the vagina or pelvis increases
- Vaginal discharge increases
- There might be light bleeding from the vagina

Ways to check for Contractions

To spot and early labor one must be sure to check for the contractions. Contractions can be checked by the following:

- When the fingertips are placed on the abdomen and the uterus feels too soft or tight then these are contractions.
- Contractions if felt, should be timed and the starting time of these should be noted.
- Contractions should be stopped by changing the position and drinking some water or by walking around
- Doctor or midwife should be contacted if the contractions occur every 10 minutes and the symptoms worsen

Sometime women might experience false labor also known as Braxton Hicks contractions. These are not so strong, are erratic and stop on moving around.

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How To Differentiate Between Labour Pain and False Contractions?

How To Differentiate Between Labour Pain and False Contractions?

It is likely for you to experience false labour pain or false contractions before the beginning of true labour during pregnancy. This is called Braxton Hicks contractions, and it is the way of telling the body to get ready for the real labour pain on the day of giving birth. However, these false contractions do not indicate that the labour has started or will begin shortly.

How do false labour contractions feel like?
Women may get a tightening feeling in their abdomen, which comes and goes away, due to Braxton Hicks or false labor contractions. These false contractions may feel like menstrual cramps. These contractions are unlike true labour and usually do not cause pain. They do not occur regularly and do not get closer together. They do not last for very long or get worse with time. These false contractions may be felt during the second or third trimester of pregnancy.

The difference between Braxton Hicks and true labor contractions
There are several differences between true labor pain and false labour contractions. These are as follows:

  1. Comparing how often these contractions occur allows us to differentiate between true labour pains and false contractions. False labour contractions are irregular while true contractions occur at regular intervals. They last for over a minute, and they get stronger and closer with the passage of time.
  2. The change in these contractions are based on your movement, which allows us to differentiate between the two types. False labour contractions may end when you take a walk or rest, and stop when you change your position. In case of true labour pains, the contractions keep on continuing irrespective of any kind of movement or change in position. They do not stop even when you take some rest.
  3. The strength of true labour pain and false contractions is different. False labor contractions are weak in general and there are less chances of them getting worse. They are stronger in the beginning and gradually weaken. However, true labour contractions get increasingly stronger with time.
  4. We can differentiate between the two types of contractions on the basis of the areas which are affected with pain. False labour contractions only cause slight pain in the front part of the abdomen and the pelvis. True labour pain is much more intensive in nature. They usually begin from the lower back and move to the front abdomen region. They may start in the abdomen and move back as well.

If you are not sure and cannot differentiate between true labour pains and Braxton Hicks contractions, it is essential for you to consult a doctor. A doctor will be able to identify the true nature of the contractions.

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Know The Reasons Behind Premature Labour!

Know The Reasons Behind Premature Labour!

The usage of “9 months” with pregnancy is almost universal. However, it is not always that all women go through the entire 9 months with the baby. Most often, delivery happens during the 37th to 40th weeks. This allows for the complete growth of the baby within the mother’s womb. When delivery happens before the 37th week, it is known as preterm delivery or premature labour. These babies may not be completely formed and may have temporary or long-term difficulties after birth.

There are many reasons which can induce premature labour, and while some are preventable, some may be inevitable.

  1. Smoking: One of the first things to do when planning a pregnancy or as soon as you realise you are pregnant is to quit smoking. It is way too damaging for the mother and the baby within.
  2. Alcohol consumption or street drug usage: These again can cause not just premature labour but also developmental abnormalities.
  3. Multiple pregnancy: Women pregnant with twins or multiples often have premature labour.
  4. Health problems: Medical conditions like hypertension, diabetes, infections, etc.
  5. Abnormalities: Developmental abnormalities in the newborn like Down’s syndrome, chromosomal abnormalities, etc.
  6. Weight: Being either obese or underweight can cause premature labour.
  7. Prenatal care: While preparing for pregnancy or as soon as you confirm it, ensure you put yourself in the hands of a good gynaecologist. This will ensure you (and your baby) get the required care.
  8. Less gap: Reduced gap between subsequent pregnancies can also induce premature labour.

Warning signs of premature labour

In some women, the doctor might be able to predict the chances of a premature labour and give enough suggestions to look out for warning signs. This will help the woman to be mentally prepared when it is time.
A low backache, which is constant and does not go with usual relief measures.

  1. Frequent pelvic contractions (about every 10 minutes)
  2. Vaginal leaking (fluid or bleeding)
  3. General ill-feeling with symptoms of nausea, cramps, and vomiting/diarrhoea.
  4. Inability to hold down fluids for a full day
  5. Abdominal cramps, similar to a period
  6. Pelvic pressure, a feeling of the baby descending down

What to do? 

As mentioned earlier, if your doctor had warned you of the chances of a preterm labour, watch out for them after 35 weeks.

  • With any of the above symptom, do not indulge in any activity and rest on the left side for a while.
  • Drink about 2 to 3 glasses of juice or plain water.
  • If the symptoms get better, continue to rest for the day.
  • If they do not, call the doctor. Usually, the doctor will ask you to come to the clinic.
  • In some cases, the baby might be delivered and require neonatal care for some days (to weeks) depending on development and symptoms.
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Preterm Labor - Know Risk Factors For It!

Preterm Labor - Know Risk Factors For It!

Premature labor is also known as preterm labor. This is the term given when the body gets ready for an early delivery in the pregnancy. Labor is considered to be premature if it starts almost three weeks prior to the due date. Premature labor usually leads to early birth, but now this can be delayed with medical help. It is better that the baby grows inside you because there are fewer chances of problems after birth. 

Risk of Preterm Labor:

Some of the things which can increase the risk of a preterm labor are:

- Being underweight or overweight before pregnancy
- Poor prenatal care
- Use of alcohol and drugs during pregnancy
- Smoking
- Health conditions such as preeclampsia, infections, diabetes, high blood pressure and clotting disorders
- Pregnant with a bay with birth defects
- Getting pregnant through vitro fertilization
- Pregnant with multiples like twins and triplets
- Becoming pregnant soon after having a baby

Symptoms of preterm labor:

Warning signs should be heeded to stop the stop premature labor, as acting quickly can help. Consult your doctor or midwife immediately in case you have the following:

- Backache, especially in the lower back. Back ache can be a constant feature or might keep coming in intervals; but does not change with a change in position.
- Contractions that take place in each 10 minutes
- A leaking feeling in the vagina or fluid leakage from the vagina
- Cramps in the lower abdomen very similar to menstrual cramps. These usually give a feeling of gas pains and come with a diarrhea
- Symptoms of flu like vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Must to see a doctor if the liquids cannot be tolerated for more than 8 hours
- The pressure in the vagina or pelvis increases
- Vaginal discharge increases
- There might be light bleeding from the vagina

Ways to check for Contractions

To spot and early labor one must be sure to check for the contractions. Contractions can be checked by the following:

- When the fingertips are placed on the abdomen and the uterus feels too soft or tight then these are contractions.
- Contractions if felt, should be timed and the starting time of these should be noted.
- Contractions should be stopped by changing the position and drinking some water or by walking around
- Doctor or midwife should be contacted if the contractions occur every 10 minutes and the symptoms worsen

Sometime women might experience false labor also known as Braxton Hicks contractions. These are not so strong, are erratic and stop on moving around.

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How To Manage Pre-Term Labor?

Premature labor is hereditary. True or false. Take this quiz to know more.
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Pre - Term Labour - Signs To Watch Out For!

Pre - Term Labour - Signs To Watch Out For!
Checking for contractions is the best way of detecting if you are heading towards a pre-term labour. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
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Pre-Term Labour: What Are The Complications Involved?

Pre-Term Labour: What Are The Complications Involved?

A preterm labour is referred to a condition when the cervix opens up within 37 weeks of pregnancy. An ideal pregnancy lasts for a span of 40 weeks. If preterm labour is caused due to preterm contractions, the baby is born earlier. This results in serious health risks for the baby. At times it requires long intensive care for the baby to ensure no mental or physical damage happens in the long term.

What are the symptoms of pre-term labour?
While some women show evident signs of pre-term labour, some women present symptoms that are more subtle. Some unmistakable symptoms of pre-term labour include regular contractions, sense of tightness in the lower abdomen, vaginal discharge, diarrhoea, constant backache, bleeding from the vagina, watery discharge from the vagina, pain in the abdomen and abdominal cramps. One or more of these symptoms should be immediately reported to the doctor to negate the chances of any miscarriages or serious complications.

What are the risk factors?
While there are no proven risk factors of preterm labour, lots of factors have been tagged with a pre-term labour. Some of the notable ones include:

  1. Little pre-natal care
  2. Premature birth in previous pregnancies
  3. Giving birth to more than one baby at a time. This is especially applicable while giving birth to a triplet.
  4. A stressful event such as a personal loss or events related to extreme emotions
  5. Bleeding from the vagina during pregnancy
  6. Any infection of the genital tract
  7. Any complications related to the placenta, uterus and cervix
  8. Any birth defect related to the vagina
  9. Chronic health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure
  10. Putting on weight more than the recommended level
  11. An excess of amniotic fluid
  12. Consumption of illicit drugs or smoking at a heavy rate
  13. The shorter length of the cervix than the normal one

What are the complications involved?
Pre-term labour cannot be stopped with any medical procedures. If pre-term labour is caused due to smoking or an infection, the same can be addressed. Any pre-term labour that eventually leads to giving birth can confront with complications such as low weight, problems related to the vision of the baby, behavioural problems and learning disabilities.

Diagnosis and tests:
A doctor will closely monitor the symptoms a woman is facing. In the case of regular contraction, a close look at the cervix helps a doctor to decide the condition of a patient. To be assured a doctor might recommend a full pelvic exam, ultrasound test, uterine monitoring, and maturity of amniocentesis. A test of the vaginal secretion further gives the doctor enough evidence about the possibility of a pre-term labour.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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Preterm Labour - What Should You Know?

Preterm Labour - What Should You Know?
Flu-like symptom is not a sign of preterm labor. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
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