Medical Video: Early Labor Symptoms
After 30 weeks of gestation, it is not uncommon for many pregnant women to experience uterine contractions occasionally. This contraction is called Braxton Hicks contraction, stomach cramps are trickery as a way the body prepares for real labor later. This contraction is normal and usually does not hurt. Braxton Hicks happens if you are exhausted, for example, and will disappear if you rest. On the other hand, early uterine contractions can indicate you are at risk of premature delivery when the contractions are repeated and more frequent.
Premature labor is a condition in which your body prepares to give birth long before its time. Labor can be considered premature if it occurs before the 37th week, or more than three weeks before the date of your delivery. If you have a high risk of preterm labor, you need to be aware of the signs and symptoms. Babies born prematurely can have lifelong or life-threatening health problems.
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The good news, the threat of preterm labor does not have to cause unnecessary panic. Doctors can do many things to delay premature babies. The longer the baby gets the chance to grow in you - as close to the date of his birth as possible - the less likely your baby is to experience problems after birth.
Your signs and symptoms will give birth prematurely
Here are some signs that you may have a premature birth. Contact your obstetrician or midwife if you may only experience one of the symptoms below before your womb reaches 37 weeks:
- Contraction (Your stomach feels tight like when you clench your fist) which happens every 10 minutes or more often (more than four times in an hour); the intensity of the pain increases
- Abnormal vaginal fluid; amniotic water leakage, vaginal bleeding (or just spotting), more volume than usual
- Lower abdominal cramps such as pre-menstruation; the stomach feels gas, with or without diarrhea
- Lower back pain which feels like a dull, coming-and-leaving pain, but it never subsides if you change position or do something to reduce the pain. Especially if you have never complained of back pain like this before
- Pelvic pressure - a sensation like your baby pressing on the vagina, slumping down
- Symptoms of classic flu, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. It's best to contact your doctor even if your flu symptoms are mild. If you cannot tolerate fluids for more than 8 hours, you should visit your doctor
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These symptoms can be confusing because some of these signs, such as pelvic pressure or lower back pain, are common complaints during pregnancy, and early contractions may be just Braxton Hicks contractions. But it's always better to prevent than regret, so contact your doctor right away if you experience something unusual at any time during your pregnancy. To be able to capture the potential for initial problems, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with risky symptoms that you should not ignore during pregnancy.
What increases the risk of the mother experiencing premature labor?
A lot of different things can increase your risk of having a premature birth. Some of these risk factors are:
- Being overweight during pregnancy or your weight is actually less than recommended
- Not getting adequate prenatal care
- Drink alcohol or use illegal drugs during pregnancy
- The congenital health conditions of pregnant women, such as hypertension, preeclampsia, diabetes, blood clotting disorders, or infections
- Contains babies diagnosed with certain birth defects from the beginning of pregnancy
- Pregnant with IVF programs
- Twin pregnancy or other multiples
- Family or personal history of preterm labor
- Pregnant distance is too close after giving birth before
In some cases, it may be difficult for the doctor to ascertain whether a woman will actually give birth. If you are at high risk of premature labor, your doctor may tell you to go to the hospital (if you are not already there), to make it easier to monitor your condition carefully.
READ ALSO: Can Mothers Postpone Premature Birth?
If your doctor determines that you are really going to undergo preterm labor, he and the team may try to stop the process, unless there are some medical reasons where preterm labor is not recommended to be postponed. For example, if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or uterine bleeding due to placental problems, or if there is an emergency condition in the fetus, such as a slowing heart rate, which can show your baby's oxygen deficiency.