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West Virginia

Right From The Start Program

What are the signs of preterm labor?

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350 Capitol Street, Room 427, Charleston, West Virginia 25301-3714
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  • Uterine Contractions - tightening of the muscles within the uterus.

  • Menstrual-like Cramps - felt low in the abdomen, just above the pubic bone, may be rhythmic, feeling like waves or fluttering or you may feel a constant cramp.

  • Lower, Dull Backache - located mainly in the lower back and may radiate to the sides or front, may be rhythmic or constant, usually not relieved by changing position.

  • Pelvic Pressure - pressure or fullness in the pelvic area, in your back or thighs, may feel like the baby is going to "fall out."

  • Intestinal Cramps - may occur in the presence or absence of diarrhea, may have the feeling of "gas pains."

  • Increase or Change in Vaginal Discharge - amount may be more than that which is normal for you, may change to mucous or watery, color may become pink or brown-tinged.

  • A General Feeling That Something is Not Right - even without a specific cause.


If you experience any of the above, or if you feel that something is different:

  • Call your doctor.

  • Go to the bathroom and empty your bladder.

  • Check to make sure you have not missed a dose of any medication you might be taking.

  • Drink a full glass of water.

  • Rest, lying down on your left side.

  • Monitor your uterine activity.

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