Alternate Names : Preterm Labor
What are the treatments for the condition?
If preterm labor is suspected, the mother should lie on her left side and drink a quart of water. About half of women respond to bed rest and extra fluids. The fluids can be given by mouth or through a tube inserted in a vein. This treatment can often quiet the irritable uterus.
If there is no sign that the mother or fetus is in danger from infection, bleeding, or other problems, the doctor may try to stop preterm labor. The goal is to allow the fetus more time to grow and mature. Among the many ways to do this are medications that can stop or suppress uterine contractions. Labor should not be stopped if there is fetal distress, poorly controlled diabetes, severe high blood pressure, uterine infection, or bleeding.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
A number of medications can be used to stop or slow preterm labor. It's not always clear which is the best one to use. The medications are usually injected. As with all medications, they can have side effects, and each woman responds differently. Possible side effects include:
chest pressure or discomfort
feeling of warmth
shaky or nervous feeling
What happens after treatment for the condition?
If labor is successfully stopped, the mother may be able to go home. She would then need to continue to monitor herself. This can be done by lying down and gently feeling the entire surface of the lower abdomen with her fingertips.
How is the condition monitored?
In the hospital, ultrasound and fetal monitoring are used. Mobile monitoring is available for use at home.