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Preterm Labor: How to Recognize it and What to Do about it

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 18-08-2006

During advanced pregnancy, it is important that both you and your spouse learn to recognize the signs of preterm labor. Preterm labor, also called premature labor, is a serious complication associated with pregnancy. Identifying warning signs, and taking immediate action, may help prevent a premature delivery.

Signs of preterm labor that your spouse needs to watch out for include:

  • Contractions occurring at the rate of more than five per hour.

  • Bleeding from the vagina.

  • Clear watery discharge from the vagina.

  • Pain during urination, or symptoms of urinary tract infection or kidney infection.

  • Sudden swelling on the face or hands—this could be sign of pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), or preeclampsia, a condition associated with premature birth.

  • A sharp and extended pain in the stomach—this is also a sign of preeclampsia.

  • Continuous vomiting—this could be another sign of preeclampsia.

  • Persistent pain in the lower back.

  • Feeling of intense pressure on the pelvis.

  • If your spouse reports any of the above symptoms, give her a drink of water and call her doctor immediately.
Your spouse can reduce the possibility of preterm labor by:

  • Drinking adequate amounts of water at all time•    Keeping in regular touch with her doctor.

  • Watching for symptoms of infection in the bladder or urinary tract, and taking timely treatment.

  • Calling up her doctor on noticing anything abnormal.
Disclaimer: The above information is commonsense reflection drawn from general experience. If you are looking for expert medical advice, please consult your doctor.