Being on the threshold of motherhood can be a mixed bag of emotions. Even though it’s mostly a joyous experience, yet, there are hues of anticipation, there are also notes of fear. This fear stems from the pain that will precede the birth of the little one, but also stems from the fear of the unknown.
That’s the beauty of pregnancy. You might have had kids before too, but every pregnancy is different. The risks are also different.
Everyone awaits this joy. Having a full-term pregnancy makes you more and more anxious about the nearing delivery date. But still, things can be unpredictable at times.
How to know you’re having a preterm labour? Should you hit the panic button? What happens when you have preterm pains?
Pain like you experience during your menstrual cycle is what a labour usually starts off with, and scales up to a point where you feel like your bones are going to shatter. That’s how labour pain feels like. The pain is great if it’s after 37 weeks. But, before that, it could either indicate false labour, or in several cases, it could be the real deal. If it’s the real deal, then you might be in trouble.
When labour begins anytime before 37 weeks, it is considered preterm or premature labour. What causes labour is an unknown aspect, but certainly, hormones, placenta, and the foetus play a significant role. Although the exact causes of preterm labour are unknown, changes in the uterus caused due to hormones during pregnancy may trigger labour pains to occur.
Why is preterm delivery a worry?
The earlier the child is born, the higher the risk of having serious health problems is for the baby. This is a huge concern because the heart and lungs of the infant are not fully grown in a preterm born baby. These babies often require being kept under observation in specially equipped intensive care units until few months to survive.
Common causes of premature labour
- A previous pregnancy with premature labour
- Infections of the cervix or urinary tract
- If the muscle fibres of the cervix are weak
- Prolonged bleeding during pregnancy
- Multiple foetuses in the womb
- An abnormal foetus
- Excess amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios)
- High blood pressure
- Poor nutrition during pregnancy
When should you worry?
You might need medical attention if you experience frequent contractions like 4 -5 times every 20 minutes, or if the contractions have been persisting for more than one hour.
Sometimes, premature labour can also occur due to rupture of members. This happens with a gush of fluid from the vagina without stopping. This is an indication that the membranes have ruptured, even though the pains have not started.
[You might be interested in this : Premature Baby Complications]
Confirming a premature labour
Your obstetrician feels your abdominal contractions, and might also perform an internal examination to check the condition of the cervix. If thinning and dilation of the cervix are noted, then it is an indication that a preterm labour has started.
It is natural to be worried about having a preterm labour, but it certainly isn’t difficult to avoid it. Having a healthy nutrition, lifestyle and mindset during your pregnancy are the key to having a healthy bundle of joy!
ABOUT THE HOSPITAL:
Ankura Hospitals is a chain of super-specialty hospitals for women and children in the cyber city of Hyderabad. Set up in the year 2011 in KPHB, near Hitech Railway Station, the Ankura Hospitals family has today spread its wings to Secunderabad, Khammam and Vijayawada.