Early contractions – 24 risk factors and helpful tips to prevent them
Early contractions or premature labour occurs when contractions begin to open the cervix before pregnancy reaches 37 weeks. A full term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. If you can not stop premature labour, your baby will be born early.
It is important that every pregnant woman knows the facts surrounding early labour and birth, even if you do not think you are in danger. Premature labour can be scary, but if you have the right information, it will help you understand and manage what is happening and how things can go.
There are three categories
- Extremely premature: less than 28 weeks
- Very premature: 28 to less than 32 weeks
- Moderate to late premature: 32 weeks to less than 37 weeks.
Risk factors for premature labour
1) You are pregnant with more than one child
Twins are likely to arrive earlier than babies born alone.
2) You have had premature labour before
If you have ever had premature labor, you are more exposed to other premature labour.
3) You have cervical or uterine abnormalities
A large uterus or any structural abnormality can hardly hold back the baby. It is the same if the cervix is malformed or small.
4) You were born prematurely
A study indicates that women born prematurely are at greater risk of premature labour.
Women under 17 and over 35 are at higher risk for premature labour. This is one of the reasons why health experts say that older women are at high risk of premature pregnancy.
6) Short gap between pregnancies
Getting pregnant at any time 18 months before the last delivery can increase the possibility of having premature labour. The larger the gap, the lower the risk.
7) Vaginal infections and STDs
They are responsible for almost half of premature contractions. Inflammation releases prostaglandins, the substance that causes labour. Untreated urinary tract infections are also at risk.
8) Chronic diseases
Such as kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and placenta problems.
Related to fever above 39 degrees Celsius during pregnancy.
10) Vaginal bleeding
After 20 weeks of pregnancy.
11) Multiple abortion
in the first or second trimester.
12) Overweight or underweight
before getting pregnant.
13) Thrombophilia (bleeding disorder).
Deficiency of red blood cells at the beginning of pregnancy.
15) Any defects of fetal birth.
16) Complications of pregnancy
such as pre-eclampsia.
17) Excess amniotic fluid
A state called polyhydramnios.
18) Smoking, drinking and illicit drugs
All of these habits increase the risk of preterm labour or a low birth weight baby. Toxins caused by smoking, drugs and alcohol prevent your baby’s supply of oxygen.
19) Gum Diseases
Hormones released during pregnancy may increase the chances of periodontal disease, which in turn is related to premature labour. The bacterium that is responsible for gum infections enters the bloodstream, enters the fetus and causes premature labour.
20) High levels of stress
The severe emotional stress associated with traumatic experiences can cause hormonal release, triggering early contractions.
21) Long restless time
women who train for long hours or work in difficult conditions are at higher risk.
22) Domestic violence
That includes sexual, emotional or physical abuse.
23) Low or no antenatal care
24) Lack of social support
Signs and symptoms of early contractions
You should consult your doctor immediately after noticing the following symptoms:
- Back pain
Constant back pain especially in the lower part, not allowing you to change position.
Cramps like those you have during your menstrual period in the lower abdomen.
5 or more contractions per hour.
- Flu symptoms
Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting, although less severe.
Vaginal bleeding, discharge or leakage that could be a sign of water loss.
- High pressure in the vagina or pelvis
that makes you feel as if your baby is falling.
How to prevent early contractions
If you have all the above symptoms, you should consult your doctor. . It is natural to be anxious, but by following the steps below, you can prevent premature birth
1) Empty your bladder
2) Lie on your left side. This will reduce the signs and symptoms.
3) Do not lie on your back as this can increase contractions.
4) Drink as much water as possible because dehydration can cause contractions.
5) Watch contractions for an hour and count the minutes.
If the symptoms do not go away even after one hour, you should consult your doctor. Make sure to talk about all the symptoms with your doctor. The only way to know if you have premature contractions is by examining your cervix.