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Premature labour can happen

Updated: Apr 25, 2019

Prematurity can strike unknowingly. Know what it means and you can be on the look-out.

Premature (preterm) labour means an earlier than expected delivery. This is prior to 37 weeks. Your baby is too eager to meet you!

Am I at risk of PTL?

These are some risk factors and how you can minimise them.

  • Smoking. Try to quit whilst pregnant.

  • Oversized. Get into shape with BMI 20-25 before conception.

  • Inadequate antenatal care. Do take good care of yourself.

  • Excessive alcohol or street drugs. This abuse needs to be stopped immediately.

  • Hypertension or gestational diabetes.

  • Twins who are prone to deliver @ 34-36 week.

  • Strong family or personal history of premature labour. Rest more this pregnancy.

Some women may experience premature labour contractions which are similar to normal labour pains. Established premature labour is rapid and unstoppable. The treatment is to arrest the contraction early. Women who experience frequent contraction pains before 36 weeks must be cautious and consult their doctor.

Are preterm baby at risk?

Very preterm babies (<32 weeks) are at risk of brain, lung, gut and eye complications. Some premature children may have developmental delay and learning difficulties. Mildly pretem babies (34-36 weeks) usually have no long-term issues. They may only need high-dependency care monitoring for feeding issues and jaundice.

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