Sign in or Sign up to save this page. Saving You've saved this page It's been added to your dashboard. A premature baby is one who is born too early, before 37 weeks. Premature babies may have more health problems and may need to stay in the hospital longer than babies born later.
Glossary What is preterm labor? Preterm labor is defined as regular contractions of the uterus resulting in changes in the cervix that start before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Changes in the cervix include effacement the cervix thins out and dilation the cervix opens so that the fetus can enter the birth canal. What is preterm birth? When birth occurs between 20 weeks of pregnancy and 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is called preterm birth.
Why is preterm birth a concern? Preterm birth is a concern because babies who are born too early may not be fully developed. They may be born with serious health problems. Some health Premature birth, like cerebral palsy, can last a lifetime.
Other problems, such as learning disabilities, may appear later in childhood or even in adulthood. Which preterm babies are at greatest risk of health problems? The risk of health problems is greatest for babies born before 34 weeks of pregnancy.
But babies born between 34 weeks of pregnancy and 37 weeks of pregnancy also are at risk. What are risk factors for preterm birth?
Factors that increase the risk of preterm birth include the following: Having a previous preterm birth Having a short cervix History of certain types of surgery on the uterus or cervix Certain pregnancy complications, such as multiple pregnancy and vaginal bleeding Lifestyle factors such as low prepregnancy weight, smoking during pregnancy, and substance abuse during pregnancy Can anything be done to prevent preterm birth if I am at high risk?
If you have had a prior preterm birth and you are planning another pregnancy, a preconception care checkup can help you get in the best possible health before you become pregnant. When you become pregnant, be sure to start prenatal care early. You may be referred to a health care professional who has expertise in managing high-risk pregnancies.
In addition, you may be given certain medications or other treatment to help prevent preterm birth if you have risk factors. Treatment is given based on your individual situation and your risk factors for preterm birth.
What are the signs and symptoms of preterm labor and what should I do if I have any of them? Call your obstetrician or other health care professional right away if you notice any of these signs or symptoms: Change in type of vaginal discharge watery, mucus, or bloody Increase in amount of discharge Pelvic or lower abdominal pressure Constant low, dull backache Mild abdominal cramps, with or without diarrhea Regular or frequent contractions or uterine tightening, often painless Ruptured membranes your water breaks with a gush or a trickle of fluid How is preterm labor diagnosed?
Preterm labor can be diagnosed only when changes in the cervix are found. Your obstetrician or other health care professional may perform a pelvic exam to see if your cervix has started to change. You may need to be examined several times over a period of a few hours.
Your contractions also may be monitored. Your obstetrician or other health care professional may do certain tests to determine whether you need to be hospitalized or if you need immediate specialized care.
A transvaginal ultrasound exam may be done to measure the length of your cervix.
The level of a protein called fetal fibronectin in the vaginal discharge may be measured. The presence of this protein is linked to preterm birth. If I have preterm labor, will I have a preterm birth? It is difficult for health care professionals to predict which women with preterm labor will go on to have preterm birth.
What happens if my preterm labor continues? When there is a chance that the baby would benefit from a delay in delivery, certain medications may be given.
These medications include corticosteroids, magnesium sulfate, and tocolytics. Corticosteroids are most likely to help your baby when they are given between 24 weeks of pregnancy and 34 weeks of pregnancy, but consideration can also be given to providing corticosteroids between 23 and 24 weeks of pregnancy.
What is magnesium sulfate?Preterm birth, also known as premature birth, is the birth of a baby at fewer than 37 weeks' gestational age.
These babies are known as preemies or premies. Symptoms of preterm labor include uterine contractions which occur more often than every ten minutes or the leaking of fluid from the vagina.
Premature infants are at greater risk for cerebral palsy, delays in development, hearing problems. The Premature Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Premature Baby from Birth to Age One (Sears, William, Sears Parenting Library.) on .
Birth is considered premature, or preterm, when it occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy. A normal pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks. Those final weeks in the womb are crucial for healthy weight. Overview. A premature birth is a birth that takes place more than three weeks before the baby's estimated due date.
In other words, a premature birth is one that occurs before the start of the 37th week of pregnancy. Risks of Complications for Premature Newborns. Babies born before the 37th week of gestation are considered premature. Premature newborns are sometimes referred to as “preemies”.
Mothers who have their baby prematurely are often frightened and nervous. In , about 1 in 10 babies was born too early in the United States. Learn about the problem, risk factors, and what we can do to reduce premature birth.
Many women, especially those who are anxious after a past pregnancy loss, breathe a sigh of relief after the pregnancy reaches the point at which the baby would be able to survive if born early. Premature Labor: Symptoms, Risks and Treatment. Pregnancy is normally a time of happiness and anticipation, but it can also be a time of uncertainty. What are preterm labor and preterm birth? If you start having regular contractions that cause your cervix to begin to open before you reach 37 weeks of pregnancy, you're in preterm labor. (It's also known as premature labor.) If you deliver your baby before 37 weeks, it's called a preterm birth and.