Preterm labor is a serious condition and if you have symptoms of preterm labor, both mom and baby will be closely monitored and examined. The results of these exams will better inform your health care provider with the information needed to decide the course of action. As part of our high risk obstetrical services, these tests include an examination of the uterus to check for tenderness, mom's temperature and pulse as well as rate of breathing. In addition, a vaginal smear will look for an infection that may cause preterm labor. A test for amniotic fluid will determine if the water has broken and a vaginal exam will determine if contractions have begun. Tests for the baby will include fetal heart monitoring and an ultrasound will check up on health and position of the baby.
Hospitalization might be recommended, or possibly more frequent doctor's visits to monitor the health of mom and baby. If you have any questions regarding premature labor, call Solace Women's Care and we will walk you through it.
Premature Labor Treatment
A surgical procedure known as cervical cerclage can help some women prevent premature labor. During the procedure, strong sutures are used to stitch the cervix closed. The sutures are then removed when the baby is full term, at thirty-seven weeks. This treatment might be recommended of the pregnancy is less than twenty-four weeks along and there is a history of premature birth and an ultrasound shows the cervix opening.
If you're less than thirty-four weeks and in active preterm labor, your health care provider might recommend hospitalization. There are medications that might temporarily halt preterm labor. Between twenty-four and thirty-four weeks an injection of corticosteroids to speed the baby's lung maturity might be the course of action. At thirty-four weeks your baby's lungs might be healthy enough for delivery. Magnesium sulfate will not prolong the pregnancy but could limit damage to the brain. Tocolytics can temporarily stop your contractions. These medications won't stop preterm labor but it might delay long enough for the other drugs to help baby's health.
Your health care provider will recommend the proper course of action and if you have questions, contact Solace Women's Care to help.