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Pre Term Delivery

What is Pre-term Delivery?

Pre-term delivery is childbirth that occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy. Babies born pre-term can face complications, such as respiratory issues, difficulty feeding, and developmental concerns. It’s essential to be aware of the signs and risk factors that can contribute to pre-term labor.

Pre Term Delivery

Symptoms of Pre-term Labor

Recognizing early symptoms of pre-term labor is crucial. Common signs to watch for include:

  • Contractions: Regular contractions occurring every 10 minutes or less.
  • Abdominal cramping: Mild to severe pain similar to menstrual cramps.
  • Backache: Persistent lower back pain or pressure.
  • Pelvic pressure: A sensation of the baby’s head pressing down.
  • Increase in vaginal discharge: A noticeable change in type or volume.

Causes of Pre-term Labor

  • Infections: Infections in the uterus or bladder can lead to early contractions and dilatation.
  • Multiple pregnancies: Carrying twins, triplets, or more can increase the risk of pre-term labor.
  • Health conditions: Conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and clotting disorders can contribute to pre-term delivery.
  • Previous pre-term births: If a woman has previously experienced pre-term labor, the risk may be higher.
  • Lifestyle factors: Stress, nutrition, and smoking can also play a role.

Complication of Pre-term Labor

  • For the mother: Risks can include increased risk of infection, bleeding, and other complications related to childbirth.
  • For the baby: Premature infants may face respiratory complications, feeding issues, and difficulty maintaining body temperature. Long-term, they may have cognitive, physical, and developmental delays.

Diagnosis of Pre-term Labor

Healthcare providers may use a variety of tools and tests to diagnose pre-term labor. Some of these include:

  • Fetal Fibronectin (fFN) testing: This test checks for a specific protein that can predict pre-term labor risks.
  • Ultrasound: Used to monitor the cervix and assess cervical length, an important indicator of pre-term labor.
  • Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM): Measures the baby’s heart rate and any uterine contractions.
  • Pelvic examination: Allows the healthcare provider to assess the cervix for dilatation and effacement.
  • Blood tests: To check for infections or other health conditions that may contribute to pre-term labor.

Treatment and Management of Pre-term Labor

Medical Interventions

  • Bed rest: In certain cases, healthcare providers may recommend bed rest to minimize physical activity and reduce the risk of contractions. This can help stabilize the mother’s condition and prevent further dilatation of the cervix.
  • Medications to stop labor: Tocolytics are medications prescribed to temporarily inhibit uterine contractions, allowing for the baby’s development to continue. These medications can sometimes offer the mother additional time before labor begins.
  • Corticosteroids: Steroid injections, typically administered to the mother, help accelerate the baby’s lung maturity. This is essential for pre-term infants, as it can reduce the risk of respiratory complications and other related issues after birth.

Supportive Care

  • Counselling services: Many healthcare facilities offer counselling services to assist mothers in coping with the emotional and psychological effects of pre-term labor. Trained therapists can provide guidance, stress management techniques, and emotional support to help mothers navigate their journey.
  • Support groups: Participating in support groups can offer a sense of community and connection for mothers experiencing similar challenges. These groups provide a platform for sharing experiences, concerns, and advice, fostering a supportive environment.

Comprehensive Care and Monitoring

  • Advanced diagnostic tools: Through advanced diagnostic tools and technologies, healthcare providers can assess the health of both the mother and baby accurately. This allows for early detection of any potential complications and timely interventions if necessary.
  • Personalized care plans: Each case of pre-term labor is unique, and healthcare providers work closely with each patient to develop a personalized care plan that addresses their specific needs and concerns.

By combining medical interventions with emotional and psychological support, Shukan Hospital & IVF Centre ensures a comprehensive approach to the management and care of pre-term labor. Our goal is to provide mothers with the resources and care necessary to promote a healthy and positive outcome for both mother and baby.

Why Choose Shukan Hospital & IVF Centre in Ahmedabad for Pre-term Delivery?

  • Our team has specialized training and experience in managing complex pregnancies and pre-term deliveries.
  • We offer cutting-edge medical equipment and facilities to ensure the best possible care for both mother and baby.
  • We take a patient-centric approach, offering individualized treatment plans and close monitoring to manage potential complications.
  • From prenatal care to post-delivery support, we provide emotional and psychological counselling to assist mothers throughout their pregnancy journey.

Prevention of Pre-term Delivery

  • Healthy lifestyle: Maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management can lower the risk of pre-term labor.
  • Regular prenatal care: Consistent monitoring by healthcare providers can help identify early signs of pre-term labor.
  • Avoiding risky behaviours: Smoking, alcohol, and drug use can contribute to pre-term delivery risks.


Can pre-term labor affect my future pregnancies?

Having a pre-term delivery in one pregnancy may increase the risk of pre-term delivery in future pregnancies. It’s essential to discuss your history with your healthcare provider for a tailored plan for subsequent pregnancies.

Is pre-term delivery painful?

Pre-term labor can be painful, as it involves uterine contractions similar to those experienced during full-term labor. The pain level varies based on individual circumstances, but it’s essential to seek medical help if you experience symptoms.

What should I expect during a fetal Fibronectin (fFN) test?

A fetal fibronectin (fFN) test is a non-invasive swab test that checks for a specific protein found in the fluid around the baby. It can help determine the risk of pre-term labor.

How long can a baby born pre-term stay in the hospital?

The length of stay in the hospital for a pre-term baby varies depending on the gestational age and the health of the baby. Some may require intensive care for weeks, while others might need a shorter stay.

Can stress contribute to pre-term labor?

High levels of stress can potentially contribute to pre-term labor. It’s essential to manage stress through relaxation techniques and counselling.

What role do prenatal vitamins play in preventing pre-term labor?

Prenatal vitamins can contribute to overall pregnancy health and may reduce certain risks, but there isn’t specific evidence linking prenatal vitamins to the prevention of pre-term labor.

What is the difference between pre-term labor and false labor?

Pre-term labor involves actual contractions of the uterus that cause cervical changes, such as dilatation and effacement, leading to delivery before the 37th week. False labor, also known as Braxton Hicks contractions, usually does not result in cervical changes.

Can I have a vaginal delivery if I’ve experienced a previous pre-term labor?

The decision on vaginal delivery versus a cesarean section may depend on various factors, including the reason for the previous pre-term labor, the current pregnancy’s health, and the health of the baby.

What can I do to support my partner during a pre-term delivery?

Emotional support, attending prenatal appointments, and encouraging open communication are ways to provide support. Additionally, offering practical assistance with household chores and childcare can help ease stress.

What precautions should I take if I have a history of pre-term labor?

It’s essential to follow the healthcare provider’s recommendations, maintain a healthy lifestyle, manage stress, and attend regular prenatal care to monitor the pregnancy’s progress closely.

Can I breastfeed if I had a cesarean section?

Yes, breastfeeding can still be successful after a cesarean section. Proper support from lactation consultants and healthcare professionals can help address any specific challenges that might arise.

When should I start breastfeeding my newborn?

It’s advisable to initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after childbirth, if possible, to establish a strong feeding routine. Lactation specialists can guide you through this process and provide support.

What can I do to ensure a smooth transition to breastfeeding if I have a premature baby?

Premature babies may have specific needs and challenges when breastfeeding. Lactation consultants can provide specialized guidance and assistance tailored to your baby’s needs, ensuring that both of you are comfortable and supported during the process.

Is it normal to feel overwhelmed after childbirth?

Yes, feeling overwhelmed is a common experience during the post-partum period. This emotional response can stem from physical, hormonal, and lifestyle changes. Seeking emotional support from healthcare professionals and support groups can be beneficial in managing these feelings.