Preventing Premature Labor

Warning Signs

Contact your doctor if any of these signs of preterm labor occur before 37 weeks' gestation:

  • Uterine contractions that become more painful, happen every 10 minutes or less, come at regular intervals (for example, every 12 minutes), and/or are increasingly closer together.
  • Menstrual-like cramps in your lower abdomen that may come and go or be constant.
  • Pelvic pressure that comes and goes and makes it feel like the baby is pushing down.
  • Low, dull backache below your waist that may come and go or be constant.
  • Vaginal discharge that suddenly increases in amount or becomes watery, tinged with blood, or full of mucus.

While prematurity is common, there are a number of steps you and your doctor can take to prevent it or lessen its complications in your baby. And the prognosis for the littlest infants seems to get better all the time.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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