Premature Labour

Signs and Symptoms of Premature Labour

Premature labour is defined as the delivery of a baby before the end of the 37th week of gestation. While every pregnancy is different, there are some common signs and symptoms of premature labour that may warrant medical attention.

  • Contractions of the uterus, which may be felt as painful or painless
  • Vaginal discharge that is heavy, pink or slightly stained with blood
  • Low back discomfort or pelvic pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea

It is important to note that any or all of these symptoms may not necessarily signal the onset of premature labour. Instead, it is recommended that women observe for any significant changes to their normal pregnancy symptoms and contact their healthcare provider if anything seems out of the ordinary.

Risk Factors for Premature Labour

Pregnancy has been recognized as a high-risk condition, with certain factors increasing a woman’s likelihood of premature labour. These include:

  • A history of prior or current pregnancy loss
  • Previous preterm birth
  • Shortened or overly long interval between pregnancies
  • Infection during pregnancy
  • Multiple gestation pregnancy
  • Certain maternal conditions, such as high blood pressure

Women with a history of any of these risk factors should be especially mindful of any changes they experience during pregnancy and should keep a close eye on any signs or symptoms of premature labour. Contacting their healthcare provider promptly is important, as premature labour can cause serious health risks for both the mother and the baby.