Dealing with Preterm Labour

Every pregnancy is different from the other. Some women experience a complication free pregnancy and delivery while a few others experience problems. One of these complications is suffering regular contractions, which causes the cervix to open before 37 weeks of pregnancy and leading to preterm labour. A full-term pregnancy generally lasts for about 40 weeks and preterm labour will advance the childbirth and steals away the maturity time of the baby.

As per the experts, the risk factors that are associated with preterm births are smoking, consuming alcohol, maternal stress, being overweight or underweight, high blood pressure, carrying twins or triplets, among others. The unavailability of good prenatal health care is also a risk factor when it comes to preterm labour.

Other causes that can lead to preterm labour are diabetes, pre-eclampsia or any kind of infection. Sometimes, the signs of preterm labour are quite usual. Expecting mothers need to have a certain level of awareness about the changes that are happening in their bodies. Some of the symptoms of preterm labour include constant dull backache, mild abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, and regular and frequent contractions. But, vaginal spotting or bleeding, and watery vaginal discharge or a change in vaginal discharge, send across strong a message about preterm labour.

If an expecting mother suspects preterm labour based on contractions, she can try walking, resting or changing the position. Bed rest and drinking fluids can sometimes clear away false labour contractions. An expecting mother should immediately coordinate with the doctor following any unusual body behaviour.

Following a healthy diet, including fruits, vegetables, protein-rich and dairy products, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, can help an expecting mother keep the risk of preterm labour at bay. Liquid intake, such as water and juice, should be increased during pregnancy to keep the body hydrated and ward off preterm labour risk.

The advancement in technology has given rise to various tests that can be conducted to diagnose preterm labour. A pelvic exam, ultrasound, uterine monitoring, lab tests of vaginal secretions and maturity amniocentesis can help doctors diagnose any potential problem. Nowadays, doctors and specialists are well equipped to handle such complications.

Source : Health Daily Digest (via syndication)

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