Premature Labor

Premature Labor: Putting It All Together

Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to premature labor:

  • Premature labor, or preterm labor, is defined as the onset of labor before the 37th full week of pregnancy.
  • If your baby is born early, but after 28 weeks of gestation, it is likely that he will be mature enough to survive. However, the longer your baby stays inside your uterus, the more prepared he will be to breathe and eat on his own.
  • Early and accurate detection and diagnosis of premature labor is critical, because premature labor is easier to control when labor has not progressed too far.
  • If you experience any of the symptoms of premature labor, consult your health care provider immediately. Only he or she help you determine for sure whether you are in labor.
  • Avoid an emergency home, car, or ambulance delivery by familiarizing yourself with the signs of premature labor and contacting your health care provider immediately with any questions you might have.
  • Because premature labor risk is difficult to predict, ALL pregnant women should be familiar with its signs and symptoms.

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