What are Symptoms of Premature Labor?
Premature labor transpires when regular contractions start occurring after week 20 and before week 37 of your pregnancy, and it may result in premature birth. The earlier it happens, the more health risks your baby can face. Premature babies or preemies require special medical assistance in the neonatal ICU.
Moreover, preemies may also have to go through long-term mental and physical abnormalities.
Often, the exact cause of premature labor is not identified. Particular risk factors may grow the possibility of preterm labor, but they can also transpire in pregnant women without any known risk factors.
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Symptoms of Premature Labor
Common signs and symptoms of premature labor can include:
Regular or recurring feelings of abdominal tightening are termed contractions. If you start feeling these contractions before 37 weeks, you should contact your doctor and inform them about your situation.
Having dull but constant backache is an alarming sign that may lead to premature labor. Thus, you should not take it casually and tell your doctor about it.
Pressure in Pelvic
Feeling pressure in your pelvic or lower abdominal region is another alarming sign of preterm labor. It is not common for women to feel pelvic pressure before 37 weeks of their pregnancy.
Getting frequent but mild abdominal cramps before 37 weeks is not common, and it is an early sign of preterm labor.
Light Bleeding or Spotting
If you see the light bleeding, rush to the hospital as it can be a severe sign of either preterm labor or even a miscarriage.
Premature labor can destroy the membranes, resulting in a gush of fluid discharge from the vagina. It is an early sign of premature delivery, and you should go to the hospital immediately if you experience it at any point in your pregnancy.
Change in Vaginal Discharge
Change in the texture, color, and odor of your normal vaginal discharge should not be ignored, mainly if it is watery, mucus-like, or even bloody. It is a sign of premature labor.
When to See your Doctor?
If you experience any of the signs mentioned above, contact your gynecologist right away. Do not get concerned about misinterpreting false labor for the real thing, as everyone will be relieved if it is actually a mistaken warning.
Premature labor can impact any pregnancy adversely. Following are the main risk factors to look out for:
- Having premature birth before
- Being pregnant with twins, triplets, or other multiples
- Shrunk cervix
- Issues with the uterus or placenta
- Cigarettes or the use of illicit drugs
- Having infections
- Having chronic conditions, like high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and depression
- Stressful recent life events
- Excess of amniotic fluid
- Vaginal bleeding
- Existence of a congenital fetal disability
- Interval of fewer than 12 months between pregnancies
- Mother either too young or too old
The most common complication of preterm labor includes delivering a premature baby. You can also lose your baby if not given the required medical help timely. Moreover, it has several health concerns for your baby, like being underweight, breathing problems, underdeveloped organs, and eyesight problems. Preemies also have a higher risk of cerebral palsy, behavioral issues, and understanding disabilities.
You can prevent premature birth through the following practices:
Regular Prenatal Care
Prenatal visits can allow your doctor to monitor your and your baby’s health. Share any signs that trouble you. If you have a history of premature labor or have recently developed its symptoms, you may have to see your doctor more often during pregnancy.
Follow a Healthy Diet
Healthy pregnancy results are typically linked with good nutrition. Moreover, some studies indicate that a polyunsaturated fatty acids diet is connected with a lower risk of premature birth. These fatty acids can be found in nuts, seeds, fish, and seed oils.
Avoid Dangerous Substances
Stay off cigarettes and illicit drugs at all times. They are harmful to your and your baby’s health. Likewise, alcohol consumption can hamper your baby’s growth. Thus, you should avoid all risky substances in your pregnancy.
Some studies indicate a link between pregnancies spaced less than six months or more than 59 months may have a high risk of premature birth. Consider talking to your doctor about pregnancy spacing for better guidance.
Manage Chronic Conditions
Chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity can boost the risk of premature labor. Work with your doctor to maintain any chronic conditions.
These are some of the signs and preventions of premature labor. If your doctor determines that you may be at a high risk of preterm labor, they may advise taking further precautions to lessen your risk. Book an appointment with the best Gyne Doctor in Karachi through Marham for more information.