Home >> Content >> Premature Labor: Symptoms Of Premature Labor
advertisement: 
Premature Labor

Premature Labor: Symptoms Of Premature Labor

Monday, April 23, 2012 - 15:46

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

The following signs of premature labor can also be a very normal part of pregnancy. Therefore, if you feel you are experiencing a symptom, try to determine whether this represents a change in the pattern of your pregnancy or whether it has been a normal occurrence for you.

  • Uterine contractions - regular contractions, four or more per hour
  • Cramps - often similar to menstrual cramps, sometimes rhythmic, either painful or painless
  • Backache - low, dull back pain
  • Pelvic Pressure - could be either rhythmic or persistent
  • Intestinal cramps - like gas pains, with or without diarrhea
  • Increase or change in vaginal secretions - increase in the amount of mucous, change in color to pink or brown, or a large amount of fluid.

How-To Information:

If You Think You Are Experiencing Signs Of Premature Labor

DO:

  • Call your health care provider or the labor and delivery unit of your hospital.
  • You might be instructed to lie down on your left side, relax, and monitor yourself for contractions for one hour.
  • If you detect four or more contractions or if you continue to experience the above symptoms, call your health care provider again, or go to the labor and delivery unit of your hospital and ask for a check-up.

DO NOT:

  • Worry about bothering the staff. This is their job, and they are dedicated to making sure you have the healthiest pregnancy and delivery possible.

Self-Monitoring For Uterine Contractions

It is a good idea to check for uterine contractions once a day during your pregnancy. To monitor contractions, do the following:

  • Lie down on your left side (or relax in a comfortable position).
  • Use your fingertips to press on your abdomen just below and to the sides of your belly button.
  • Normally, your fingers will indent the uterine wall.
  • If your uterus becomes tight and hard and cannot be indented with gentle fingertip pressure, you are having a contraction.
  • Check the time, and determine how many minutes your uterus remains tight. This is the 'length' of the contraction.
  • If another contraction occurs, determine how many minutes elapsed between the beginning of the first and the beginning of the second contraction (how 'far apart' they are).
  • It is normal for the uterus to contract 0-3 times per hour.

Need To Know:

If you experience four or more contractions in an hour, contact your health care provider or go to the labor and delivery unit of your hospital for a check-up.

Premature Labor