Before thinking about the signs of preterm labor you should know that preterm labor refers to the situation when the labor contractions start before the 37th week of pregnancy.
If you deliver before the 37 week it is said that you had a preterm birth and your baby is said to be premature.
Premature labor signs
You should let your doctor know if you notice more vaginal discharge than normally. It is also a worrisome sign if the characteristics of the discharge change. If the discharge is watery, bloody or mucus- like, there could be a problem. It is possible that the discharge will only be tinted with blood.
The symptoms of preterm labor also include vaginal bleeding or spotting. In case you notice abdominal cramps or pain or if you have more than 4 contractions in an hour, it may mean that you have preterm labor, even if the contractions don’t hurt.
Sometimes women say regarding the preterm labor symptoms that they experience some pressure in the pelvis. This might feel like the baby is pushing downwards. It is possible that you feel pain in the lower back. This can be a sign if you didn’t have back pain before and now it is rhythmic or dull.
The truth about the signs of premature labor is that they might be confusing because a part of them are normal symptoms of pregnancy, such as pain in the lower back or pressure in the pelvis. In the same time the sporadic contractions can be Braxton Hicks pains, which have nothing to do with labor.
Nonetheless, when it comes to the symptoms of premature labor, it is better to be cautious and so if you notice anything out of the ordinary, you should talk to your health care provider about it. In order to catch the alarming symptoms, you should find out more about the signs that you shouldn’t ignore during pregnancy.
What if you have the premature labor symptoms?
When you see the signs, you should talk to your doctor and most probably he or she will tell you to go to the hospital. Your contractions will be monitored along with the heart rate of the baby. The doctor will examine you to make sure that your membranes aren’t ruptured.
Because of the warning signs of preterm labor your urine will be checked for signs of infection and your doctor will also take vaginal cultures. You might have to take a fetal fibronectin test. In case your water didn’t break, you will have a vaginal exam for the doctor to assess the state of the cervix.
Usually in case of the preterm labor warning signs women have an ultrasound to confirm the growth of the baby, to check the amniotic fluid to verify the gestational age and the position of the baby.
Now you know all about the premature labor signs and you know how to assess them. Call your doctor if some signs that you notice seem out of place.