One of the most commonly known yet the worst complications of pregnancy is a preterm or a premature labor. The term premature labor means delivery of the baby before 37th week or even earlier.
A baby that comes before 37th week of gestation is known as preterm baby and the process is called as premature birth or preterm labor. Although preterm labor is a common pregnancy problem these days, it involves a number of risks and poses a potential danger to mother and the child.
Preterm labor can be clearly avoided if its early detection is done in time. But, unfortunately a lot of pregnant women or first time pregnant mothers cannot make out the signs of a preterm labor.
Hence it is very important to learn the indications, diagnosis and signs of premature labor so that important measures can be carried to ensure a smooth and safe pregnancy and delivery of the baby.
Here are some of the primary symptoms of preterm labor which have to be taken seriously and a doctor or a midwife consulted immediately.
Signs of Preterm Labor:
The first sign is usually excess vaginal discharge that has a foul smell. If the discharge is more than normal and has a mucus-like appearance you should report it to the doctor immediately.She might send a vaginal swab for testing in the lab to rule out any complications. Chances are your amniotic fluid has started leaking from the sac which might be a potential risk to the baby.
Another sign is excessive low back pain, especially if you have not experienced them before. However back pain is common in pregnancy and can confuse you with the sign of labor but if the back pain happens in a rhythmic and pulsating movement then it surely is an alarming sign.Severe abdominal pain and cramps, contractions in fixed interval of time, pain and increasing level of pressure in the pelvic area or the feeling of push down. Also, look out for any sign of vaginal bleeding or spotting in the third trimester surely indicates preterm labor.
How To Manage A Preterm Labor :
If you experience any of the above signs or symptoms, consult your doctor immediately. She may plan a preterm delivery within a safe time period and would ensure the safety of you and your baby.
Ignoring these symptoms may be risky for the baby as well as your well being too. Chances are you might be sent home after a series of tests and examinations for ruling out any outside infection.They might also put you on a drug to stop the labor and advise you to have plenty of fluids to increase the amniotic fluid level for the fetal safety inside. Or if the doctor suspects excessive amniotic fluid leakage then she might make you ready for a premature delivery.
Before planning a preterm delivery the practitioner would make sure that the baby is doing fine. They will check and monitor the baby’s heartbeat, lungs’ maturity, weight and growth. Once the doctor is satisfied they might think of initiating the process of bringing out the baby safely to avoid any complication.