Premature labor, also called preterm labor, is when your body starts getting ready for birth much earlier than your due date. Usually, it refers to labor that happens around week 37 of your pregnancy. Premature labor can lead to early birth. Your doctor can help you avoid an early delivery. Speak to your gynecologist to find out more or visit KIMS Cuddles and get the services of the best maternity hospital in Hyderabad.
Here is what you should know about preterm labor.
What Increases your risk
There are many things that can increase your risk of premature labor. Here are some of them:
- Being overweight or underweight before pregnancy
- Not getting proper prenatal care
- Drinking alcohol, smoking or using drugs during pregnancy
- Having health issues such as high blood pressure, preeclampsia, diabetes, blood clotting disorders, or infections
- Being pregnant with a baby who has certain birth defects
- Being pregnant with a baby from in vitro fertilization
- Being pregnant with twins or multiples
- Family or personal history of premature labor
- Getting pregnant too soon after having a baby
Signs and Symptoms of Preterm Labor
Knowing more about the signs of a condition can help you realize if there is a problem and take precautions right in time. If you have any of these signs or symptoms before 37 weeks of pregnancy, you may be having preterm labor:
- Backache: If you feel pain in your lower back, it may indicate preterm labor. This ache may be constant or may come and go, but it won’t ease even if you change positions or do something else for comfort.
- Contractions: If you feel contractions every 10 minutes or more, you may be experiencing preterm labor.
- Cramping: If you experience cramping in your lower abdomen or menstrual-like cramps, you may be experiencing preterm labor. These can often feel like gas pains that may come with diarrhea.
- Leaking vagina: Fluid leaking from your vagina is yet another symptom of preterm labor.
- Flu-like Symptoms: Symptoms associated with flu, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea can also indicate preterm labor. Talk to your doctor even if you have mild cases of the same. If you can’t keep down liquids for more than 8 hours, see your doctor immediately.
- Increased pressure: If you start feeling pressure in your pelvis or vagina, it may indicate preterm labor.
- Vaginal bleeding: Even light vaginal bleeding is an indicator of preterm labor.
While some of these may seem like normal pregnancy symptoms, such as backache or vaginal discharge, you must get yourself checked out if you notice any of these. Go to a good maternity hospital in Hyderabad such as KIMS Cuddles and see their team of doctors who will suggest the right steps to take.
What to do in case of Preterm Labor
If you notice even one of these signs or symptoms of preterm labor, see your doctor immediately. Getting help quickly is the best thing you can do for you and your baby. When you see your doctor, they may want to do a thorough check up including a pelvic exam or transvaginal ultrasound. This allows them to see if your cervix has started to thin out and open for labor. Your cervix is the opening to the uterus or womb that sits at the top of the vagina or the birth canal.
A transvaginal ultrasound is done in the vagina instead of on the outside on your belly. Just like a regular ultrasound, it uses sound waves and a computer to make a picture of your baby. If you’re having contractions, your doctor will monitor them to see how strong and far apart they are. Apart from this your doctor will:
- Ask about your medical history, including medicines you’ve been taking during pregnancy.
- Check your pulse, blood pressure, and temperature.
Treatment for Preterm Labor
If you’re having preterm labor, your doctor may give you appropriate treatment to help stop it or to improve your baby’s health before birth. Talk to your doctor about the right treatment for you. This may include:
- IV fluids
- Medicine to relax your uterus and stop labor
- Medicine to speed up the development of your baby’s lings
- Hospital admission
If your labor has kept up and can’t be stopped, your doctor will start making preparations to deliver your baby. Keep calm and rely on the advice of your doctor as they will take the best decision for you. KIMS Cuddles is a top maternity hospital in Hyderabad with an experienced team of doctors to help you throughout your pregnancy journey.
Premature Baby’s Health
Contrary to popular belief, premature babies grow up to be normal adults. About one in 10 babies born in the U.S. are preemies. Most preemies catch up to their full-term peers in time. However, these kids have a higher risk of problems.
Premature babies grow more slowly than babies born at full-term. They may also have a higher risk of certain long-term health problems such as autism, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, lung problems, and vision and hearing loss. Babies born after 7 months usually need a short stay in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Babies born earlier than that face much bigger risks. They will need specialized care in the NICU.
Rest assured, if you choose KIMS Cuddles, you will be at the best maternity hospital in Hyderabad and receive the best care from our experienced team. Visit us to get the right treatment and care during and beyond your pregnancy.