Preterm labour is any labour that starts before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. Preterm labour can lead to a preterm birth. The earlier a baby is born the more likely he or she could have long-term health problems. Some preterm babies are very small and may not be strong enough to live. Any woman can go into preterm labour but those most at risk are:
Having their first baby;
Have had a preterm baby before;
Are not getting enough healthy food;
Have a lot of stress in their life;
Have a vaginal or bladder infection;
Have had a previous abortion.
It is not always easy for a woman to tell if she is in preterm labour. You should watch for these signs:
Bleeding from the vagina;
Contractions of the uterus;
A sudden gush or a constant slow leak of fluid from the vagina.
Or a change in what you normally feel with:
Low dull back ache;
Increase in discharge from the vagina.
If you experience any of the above signs after the 20th week and before the 37th week of pregnancy DO NOT WAIT! The best thing for you and your baby is for you to GO RIGHT AWAY TO THE HOSPITAL.