Pre-term labor is labor that occurs 3 or more weeks before your due date. It is important for you to know how to recognize signs of pre-term labor. Become familiar with this list:
- Contractions which occur every ten minutes or less
- Low, dull back ache below your waistline which may come and go or be constant Pressure that feels as though the baby is pushing down.
- Stomach cramping with or without diarrhea.
- Watery fluid from the vaginal
- Feeling that something isn't "right".
NOTE: It is NOT normal to have frequent contractions before your baby is due. If contractions come more often than one every 10 minutes, contact your health care provider right away.
Often, expectant parents enter labor thinking that it will be like the "text book labor" they learned about in class. Remember, no one can predict what your labor will be like or how long it will be! The reality, in the United States, is between 1/4 and 1/3 of all deliveries are cesarean---an increase of almost 6% from 1999 to 2001.
Regardless of the circumstances of your pregnancy, it is important to spend some time considering and planning for "unexpected" occurrences in your labor and birth and delivery.
Helpful Tools for You
Having a "goodie bag" in labor can be a real comfort. It be filled with items that bring mom physical relief during labor AND can also help both mom and dad relax during those last few hours before you become parents.
Ideas for your "goodie bag" include:
- Sour candy or lollipops
- A favorite CD, video or tape
- A picture
- A spiritual verse
- Phone numbers to call
- Back massager
- Deck of cards/game
- Change for vending
- Camera/film/video recorder/batteries/extra tape
- Tooth brush/tooth paste for mom and dad
- A book for helping to pass the time
- A journal for your thoughts during labor and after the baby is born.
- Your birth plan
Planning for Hospital Discharge
There are a few things you should keep in mind when it's time to be discharged from our medical center.
- Plan in advance for a ride home from the hospital.
- Purchase your baby's car seat in advance.
- Select your baby's "going home" outfit and wash it in mild detergent.
- Arrange for help at home the first few days after you are discharged from the hospital.
Notice: The information contained on this webpage is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. The Expert Knowledge Network and Saint Francis Healthcare Campus assume no responsibility for how this information is used. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained on this page is intended to be for medical diagnosis or treatment.