Premature Labor: Symptoms Of Premature LaborMonday, April 23, 2012 - 15:46
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.
If You Think You Are Experiencing Signs Of Premature Labor
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.