Delivering a living being into this beautiful world is indeed a woman’s biggest pride. Pregnancy is a blessing and the jeopardy associated with it makes it all the more worthwhile. Despite all the cautiousness right from the first stage of pregnancy, certain complications that are out of our control occur at any time.
One such complexity is preterm labor. Premature labor or preterm labor is labor that happens before thirty seven weeks of pregnancy. This can happen to any woman. There is no solid reason behind a majority of these labors. Babies born early can have health complications for a life time.
Signs of Preterm Labor
Most women, especially the ones going through their first gestation, do not know the signs of premature labor. These signs can occur anytime after the twentieth week of gestation. This labor is generally not painful, but there are certain signs of warning. The common signs of preterm labor are:
Contraction is the tightening of your stomach. Your stomach will feel hard and firm. Some women may also feel the baby curling up, almost like a ball. Contractions are not painful all the time. This can occur every ten minutes or lesser. If more than five contractions occur in a time frame of one hour, it is a sure sign of labor.
In some cases, the pain can also be constant. A change in the position or any other comfort measure will not relieve the pain.
Changes in Vaginal Discharge
You will notice a significant change in the type of vaginal discharge. Your discharge can be watery or like mucus. The discharge can be pinkish or with streaks of blood. Some women may also notice vaginal bleeding or spotting. The discharge will also be more than usual.
Leaking of Fluid
Leaking of clear and watery fluid from your vagina in a sudden flush is a common sign. This is also called as water break. This occurs when the internal membranes rupture and it indicates that the water bag is busted.
Menstrual cramps or cramps in the lower abdomen is a sign of labor. These cramps may also feel like gas pains. These cramps are occasional, but they can also be constant in some women.
Diarrhoea and Increased Bowel Movement
Period like cramps are often accompanied by diarrhoea. Diarrhoea can also be absent in some women. Increased bowel movement is also one among the signs. The feeling of an urge to excrete can accompany the cramps.
Pressure on Pelvis
Intense pressure on the pelvis or vagina is the most significant warning sign of preterm labor. A feeling that the baby is pushing down is noticed. You can also feel a certain sense of fullness.
Lesser Activity of the Baby
The baby will be less active when labor approaches. You will feel fewer or no kicks and nil movement of the foetus.
Contact your doctor at the earliest when you have these signs. As a first-aid measure, lie on your left side and drink plenty of fluids. An early detection of the signs can help interrupt premature delivery. There also exists a possibility of carrying the pregnancy to the last term, thereby improving the baby’s chances of survival.
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