Is this it so soon?
Know the signs of premature labour, just in case.
(Getty Images)

Labour comes as a surprise even when it’s time, and even more so when it comes early.It’s seen as premature if you go into labour before the 37th week of pregnancy.This is often due to uterine contractions causing the cervix to open earlier than normal. It’s considered premature because your baby may still need to develop maturity in some important organs, including the lungs.

You could be in labour if you feel the following:

  • A contraction every 10 minutes, or more often within one hour (five or more uterine contractions in an hour).
  • Watery fluid leaking from your vagina (could indicate that your waters have broken).
  • Menstrual-like cramps.
  • Low, dull backache.
  • Pelvic pressure that feels like the baby is pushing down.
  • Abdominal cramps that may occur with or without diarrhoea.
  • Unusual or sudden increase of vaginal discharge.
  • Blood from your vagina.

Rather be cautious and get to the hospital, you may need drugs to stop labour, supervised bed rest, or help delivering your baby early. A premature baby may need extra care such as being kept in an incubator or given oxygen.

Did you have a premature birth? Were you prepared?

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