Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Too early labor (premature labor)

About 1 baby in every 13 will be born before the 37th week of pregnancy. In most cases labor starts by itself, either with contractions or with the sudden breaking of the waters or a ‘show’. About one early baby in six is induced and about one early baby in five is delivered by caesarean section.
If your baby is likely to be born early, you will be admitted to a hospital with specialist facilities for premature babies. Not all hospitals have these facilities, so it may be necessary to transfer you and your baby to another unit, either before delivery or immediately afterwards.
If contractions start prematurely, the doctors may be able to use drugs to stop your contractions temporarily. You will probably be given injections of steroids that will help to mature your baby’s lungs so that they are better able to breathe after the birth. This treatment takes about 24 hours to work.
Many multiple birth babies are born prematurely. The normal delivery date for twins is 37 weeks and for triplets 33 weeks.
If you have any reason to think that your labor may be starting early, get in touch with your hospital or midwife straight away.

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