Thursday, November 14, 2013

Identify Signs Of Premature Labor

When labor begins before the 37th week of pregnancy, it is called premature labor. Preterm labor and childbirth can pose serious health issues for an unborn child, so identifying its symptoms and seeking immediate medical attention is imperative. With knowledge of the signs and symptoms of premature labor at hand, you'll know exactly when to call the doctor if labor begins too early.


1. Check for contractions by lying down and feeling your uterus. If your entire abdomen is tightening and then relaxing, you may be having contractions that indicate early labor. If just one section is tightening and relaxing, however, you may be in the clear.

2. Time your contractions for about one hour. If you have more than five contractions in that hour, you may be having premature labor.

3. Check for watery fluid if you feel unnaturally wet in your vaginal area. If fluid is leaking in this area, your bag of water may have broken or sprung a leak.

4. Assess any menstrual-like pain. If you're having cramps that you identify as similar to menstrual cramps, you may be having premature labor.

5. Evaluate back pain. A dull ache that occurs in your lower back is one of the most common signs of premature labor.

6. Watch for blood as a sign of premature labor. Bright red blood is particularly alarming. Light pink or brown spotting may not be as much cause for alarm, but let your doctor know anyway--just in case

7. Take note of an increased amount of pressure in your pelvic area. If it feels like the baby is pushing downward, you may be experiencing premature labor.

8. Watch out for abdominal cramps, which may occur with diarrhea but may be present without it as well.

9. Note an increase in vaginal discharge, especially if the increase happens suddenly. While this could just be natural for your body or a sign of infection, it could also indicate premature labor.

Tags: premature labor, contractions that, having premature, having premature labor, labor begins, labor Watch