Close-up of pregnant woman relaxing and sitting on the side on the sofa. Holding a hands on the tummy.

Preterm labor, also called premature labor, is when your body starts getting ready for pregnancy too early. A pregnancy is premature if it starts more than three weeks before the due date. Preterm labor can result in a premature birth. This is when you give birth too early. Birthing a child too early can lead to health concerns for your newborn.

Risk Factors for Preterm Labor

  • A family or personal history of preterm labor
  • Being pregnant with twins, triplets, etc.
  • Health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and/or infections (urinary tract or sexually-transmitted)
  • Having issues with your placenta, cervix, or uterus
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol or using street drugs
  • Being under the age of 18 or over the age of 35
  • Social concerns such as a lack of support, domestic violence and/or high levels of stress
  • Not going to the doctor for prenatal visits

Signs and Symptoms

  • Clear, watery, pink or brownish discharge
  • A change in vaginal discharge (more than usual)
  • Vaginal bleeding after 20 weeks
  • Cramping in your lower stomach
  • Pressure in your pelvis/vagina
  • Dull, low back pain
  • Frequent, or consistent, contractions less than 10 minutes apart
  • Your water breaks

If you have any of these symptoms, please contact your doctor’s office for medical advice.

SHARE THIS NEWS
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print