What is Preterm Labour?


What is Preterm Labour?



This is the onset of labour before your 37th week of pregnancy. Preterm labour can cause your baby to be born too soon leading to possible health issues with your baby.


What is preterm labour?


This is the onset of labour before your 37th week of pregnancy.  Preterm labour can cause your baby to be born too soon leading to possible health issues with your baby. 
 
Symptoms of preterm labour
If you believe you are having preterm labour, get medical help right away. If in doubt, get checked early. Once labour is established it is very difficult to stop. Contractions alone do not mean you are in preterm labour, however. What matters more are the changes in your cervix (the lower end of your uterus). Symptoms of preterm labour include:
 
four or more contractions per hour
strong contractions
constant menstrual-like cramping
low back pain
mucous or bloody vaginal discharge
bleeding or blood spotting after three months into your pregnancy.
 
Premature babies are at risk of:
respiratory distress syndrome
hypothermia
low blood glucose
jaundice
infection
retinopathy of prematurity
necrotising enterocolitis
death
 
Premature labour:
National Women’s hospital notes that Preterm pre-labour rupture of membranes complicates up to 2% of all pregnancies and is the cause of 40% of all preterm births. 
 
Clinical decision-making requires consideration of the potential risks and benefits of induction of labour against expectant management until term. The aim of such management is to maximise the benefits of foetal maturity while avoiding the potential harms of remaining in utero. 
 
There is no clear evidence on the optimal treatment of women with PPROM close to term, i.e. immediate delivery or waiting until reach term or clinical indication arises. 
 
National Women’s Health is currently recruiting women to the PPROMT (Pre-term Pre-labour Rupture of Membranes close to term Trial) trial. The PPROMT trial is a randomised controlled trial for women with PPROM at 34-36+6 weeks (including women with PPROM prior to 34 weeks but reaching 34 weeks) comparing early planned birth with expectant management.

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