Delaying Preterm Labour

6 Replies
Kara - July 6

Hi everyone, I just wanted to ask if anyone else has had signs of preterm labour, and what their dr advised them? I've been having regular BH contractions, some only 10 mins apart for hours at a time, and getting painful. It's not labour just yet but my obstetrician said it will eventually lead into labour but that there is nothing they can do to stop it if i do go into full labour. I had heard doctors can delay labour though. Anyone know? I am only 29 1/2 weeks.


T. - July 6

I think the only way they can delay it is to put you on bed rest. And that doesn't really delay it for long, but it helps. I'm not exactly sure if they have medications that will slow labor. This is my first pregnancy and I'm not sure about all the details of everything. Good luck though! =)


Jbear - July 6

This is from a book I've got, "1000 Questions about Your Pregnancy" by Dr. Jeffrey Thurston: There's a test that can be done called Fetal Fibronectin which can detect if preterm labor is imminent in the next two weeks or so. The test is done by swabbing the v____a near the cervix. Women with increased pressure, Braxton-Hicks, and bleeding or increased v____al discharge after 24 weeks are potential candidates for the test. If you are in preterm labor, the doctor will hospitalize you. You will be given an IV to keep you hydrated, and you may be given magnesium sulfate or terbutaline. If your baby is born before 35 weeks, it's likely that your baby will have to stay in the hospital until the due date. The book also says that there is a medicine called betamethasone that can be given to a woman for two days to help mature her baby's lungs, and that the benefit of medicine that delays preterm labor for a day or two is that there's time to give the medicine to mature the lungs. The difference between braxton-hicks contractions and premature labor is that your cervix doesn't change with braxton-hicks, but with premature labor the cervix softens, moves forward, shortens and/or dialates. Probably the best thing you can do at home is to take it easy and drink plenty of water.


Chris - July 9

I am on 20mg of Procardia every 6 hours to keep me from going into labor, plus very strict bedrest. According to what I've read, this medicine keeps calcium away from your cervix/uterus. Calcium is needed for causing contractions. Seems to be helping. Haven't had any major contractions for awhile. Also, be sure and drink as much water as you can. Your uterus is a muscle. No water and it will start contracting. So keep the water beside you and everytime you see it, take a drink!


K - July 10

I went into the hospital for preterm labor when I was about 29 weeks along. They kept me overnight, gave me shots of Terbutaline (which relaxes smooth muscles, such as the uterus, and is commonly used to hold off preterm labor). I was also given two steroid shots to speed the development of the babys lungs, just in case I delivered her early. I was sent home the next day with orders of moderated bedrest and Terbutaline pills every 6 hours. There ARE things that can be done to stop/delay preterm labor, I don't know why your doctor would do nothing about it if you're only 29 weeks. If you have over 6 contractions in an hour that early on, something should be done to try and hold them off. Take it easy, try to stay off your feet as much as you can and drink tons of water. It's very easy for a pregnant woman to become dehydrated, especially during the summer, and that will only bring on more contractions.


Kara - July 12

Thanks for your posts guys, i spent some time being monitored at the hospital and everything is ok. I am not actually in preterm labour, they seem to be just regular, painful BH, though my obstet. says i'm at risk for prem labour. I think he meant they can't stop me going INTO preterm labour if it's going to happen, as naturally they don't medicate without cause, but if it does happen, then they will give me immediate treatment. thanks for the info, hopefully i won't need it! :-)


Chris - July 13

First off, at 29 weeks, contractions may not show up on those monitors they wrap around your belly. I went in around 25 weeks and told them I am having contractions!!!! They checked cervix and hooked me up to monitor and basically said I was coocoo. Then a week later I went in and told them again. Once again, cervical check and monitor. STILL NOTHING. And they send me for ultrasound. Come to find out I was dilating from the INSIDE. I'd never even heard of this. But i was right -- I was having contractions. So keep an eye on it and ask if maybe they could do an internal u/s and check cervix on the INSIDE to make sure there's no problem there. Also, the point of the meds is to keep you from going into pre-term labor. So if he's saying there's nothing he can do, then he's not right.



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