Premature Baby

Labour is defined as the onset of regular contractions and the shortening of the cervix (womb opening). Premature labour is a condition that takes place after the 20th week and before the 37th week. Premature births are most common between the 34th and 37th weeks of pregnancy. It is a relatively common condition that can affect every seventh woman in 100. Generally, cases of premature labour occur with twins or triplets. The average due date for twins is the 37th week, and the triplets are in the 33rd week. If the baby is sufficiently developed, then a normal delivery can take place. But if it is predeveloped, methods can be used to postpone pregnancy. Approximately 1 out of 10 cases of premature labour result in premature birth.

Common symptoms and signs

  • The Water Break (rupture of the membrane): A pregnant lady may feel a soft pop, which can result in the flow of clear or slightly pinkish-clear liquid. In some cases, this can result in excessive vaginal discharge.  
  • Contractions will become regular after a break and are usually painless.

Some other symptoms include:

  • Back Pain 
  • Frequent Urination 
  • High pressure in the pelvic area 
  • Strong Cramps 
  • The music plug in the cervix comes away 
  • The patient may experience vomiting or nausea

If you have any of these signs, you should see a doctor or fertility clinic as soon as possible.

What causes premature labour?

It is not always possible to know its cause, but we can get an idea because of these:

  • If a patient is carrying twins or triplets,
  • Abnormalities in the womb
  • Placenta praevia: The placenta attaches near or over the cervical opening.
  • When the cervix starts to open prematurely
  • If there was a premature birth in a previous pregnancy,
  • Late miscarriage in a previous pregnancy
  • less than 6 months between two pregnancies

Some important health factors affecting pregnant women include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Many factors contribute to high stress.
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Use of drugs or weed during a pregnancy
  • Preeclampsia
  • Suffering from a urinary tract infection

Many vaginal infections can also lead to premature labour, such as:

  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Chlamydia
  • Infections caused by Group B streptococci

When should I see a doctor?

If you notice that you have multiple of the symptoms listed above, you should consult a doctor and get yourself diagnosed. Ignoring these symptoms could be highly dangerous and is not advised at all. 


Treatment options are generally determined by the patient's pregnancy stage.

  • Allowing the pregnancy to progress naturally: This is recommended if the pregnancy is 34 weeks or longer so that the baby can mature on its own outside the womb. The delivery should take place inside the hospital so that medical attention can be administered when required. 
  • Postponing birth artificially: This usually happens when the pregnancy is less than 34 weeks. Babies' lungs are helped medically through steroids for proper growth, and the mother is transferred to a special unit. Usually, the pregnancy is postponed for at least 48 hours and more if possible. This method is taken as the last resort, as the process can have further complications.
  • Preventing Delivery: This is performed using medication or a caesarean section. It is only used if either the mother or the baby is ill.


Due to the lack of a clear indication of a premature baby, prevention is not quite possible. Keeping yourself medically diagnosed for any infection or disease could help you be on the safe side. maintaining your hygiene standards, doing light exercise, and reducing the risk of premature pregnancy. But if you feel like you are experiencing some abnormality or seeing the symptoms mentioned above, you should consult a doctor.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru - Brookefield. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What if my water breaks but I am not in labour?

A woman can break her water but still not be in labour; this is known as a preterm pre-labour rupture of the membranes. Typically, antibiotics are prescribed to prevent infection caused by the broken water pipe. Steroids are given to mature babies' lungs. Pregnancy is delayed until 34 weeks, and then an artificial procedure is carried out to deliver the baby.

2. Can a car accident lead to premature labour?

Physical trauma and stress caused by the accident can lead to preterm birth.

3. What are the problems that can affect a premature baby?

Babies born prematurely are more likely to have chronic health diseases than normal-born infants.

4. How do you emotionally support the parents of a premature baby?

Celebrate them, congratulate them, make them feel special, and welcome their newborn as you would any other kid. Be supportive.

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