Preterm labour

At Giggles Hospitals, we take the utmost care of your pregnancy, especially during preterm labour. Preterm labour happens during pregnancy, when the regular contractions result in the opening of the cervix after week 20 and before a week. This usually results in premature birth – which results in health risks for premature babies (also called preemies). They are kept in the neonatal ICU to monitor their health. However, the risk factors for premature labour are not yet clear. Sometimes, it happens with no risk factors. 

What are the Symptoms of Preterm labour?

You must understand the signs and symptoms of preterm labour so that you can seek help immediately. Below are some of the common symptoms of preterm labour –

  • Frequent tightening or low, dull pain in your back that comes and goes or remains for a longer period. 
  • Lower abdominal cramping (might feel like gastric)
  • Four or more contractions in an hour.
  • Increased pelvic or vaginal pressure. 
  • Persistent cramps that feel like menstrual pain.
  • Increased vaginal discharge with a hint of pink color in it. 
  • Fluid leaks from the vagina.
  • Decreased fetal movement.
  • Flu-like symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. 

What Causes Preterm labour?

Though the exact cause of preterm labour is not yet known. However, many factors can contribute to such complications. At Giggles Hospitals, we determine the diagnosis depending on the factors that can cause preterm labour. Some of them are as below –

  • You had a history of premature birth.
  • You are pregnant with twins or triplets.
  • You previously had a problem with your cervix, uterus, or vagina.

How is Preterm labour Diagnosed?

At Giggles Hospital, our experts diagnose your condition and tailor a comprehensive management plan. First, they will examine your cervix to see if it is thinned or open. Along with the cervix examination, they might perform the following tests to monitor the fetus’s movement and health –

  • Ultrasound is done to determine the fetus’ size and its position in your uterus. It also checks for problems in amniotic fluid or placenta. 
  • The doctors might also measure your contraction. 
  • A fetal fibronectin test is done to check for fetal fibronectin (a protein that helps the amniotic sac stick to your fetus). This is done by taking a sample of your vaginal fluid. If the fibronectin is in your discharge, the labour has begun. 

What are the Treatment options for Preterm labour?

There are no medicines or surgical procedures that can stop the labour. However, doctors might prescribe certain medications to promote your baby’s health. Also, if you are at risk of preterm labour due to a short cervix, the doctors might perform a surgical procedure where the cervix is closed with strong sutures. The sutures are then opened after 36 weeks. However, if you are less than 24 weeks pregnant, the doctors might recommend cervical cerclage if you already have had a premature birth in the past. 

How to Prevent Preterm labour?

Preventing preterm labour is hard, but you can lower the risk of preterm labour in some ways. Some of them are –

  • Eat healthy food (include veggies and fruits in your diet)
  • Reduce your stress level.
  • Get into a healthy weight before pregnancy. 
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol. 
  • Also, do not use any recreational drugs during pregnancy. 

Why Choose Giggles Hospitals?

Giggles Hospitals is one of India’s most reputed child and maternal care hospitals. We are a team of doctors aiming to help you through your pregnancy journey. We understand the value and emotions of being a parent. So, we have a handful of expert doctors who will help you with minor or major complications during your pregnancy. 

Our Doctors

Dr. Batchu Sowdamini

Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist View Profile
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Dr. Radhika Jupally

Gynecologist and Obstetrician View Profile
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Dr. Padmaja S

Gynaecologist and Obstetrician View Profile
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Women above 40 – Dr M N V Pallavi, Chief Consultant
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OBG Facility – Dr M N V Pallavi, Chief Consultant
High Risk Pregnancy – Dr M N V Pallavi, Chief Consultant
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Menstural Problems – Dr M N V Pallavi, Chief Consultant
Managing Pregnancy – Dr M N V Pallavi, Chief Consultant – Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Giggles, Vizag
Ovarian Cysts – Dr M N V Pallavi, Chief Consultant – Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Giggles, Vizag

Frequently Asked Questions

A normal pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, whereas preterm labour starts before 37 weeks. Going into preterm labour does not necessarily mean you will have a preterm birth. 

Usually, women in preterm labour give birth within 7 days. However, in about 30% of the cases, the labour stops after a particular period.

2/3rd of the babies born at 24 weeks gestation are admitted to neonatal intensive care. These babies survive and go home. 

There are certain medications used to delay preterm labour. However, if the baby is born before time, they are put into specialized care until fully recovered. 

It is recommended to consume a rich diet such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and have lower chances of having preterm labour. Also, it is important to drink plenty of water during pregnancy.