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Treatment of Preterm Labor and Delivery

If you are experiencing any symptoms of preterm labor, call your doctor right away. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may tell you to come to the office or the hospital. Your doctor may also advise you to stay at home. If advised to stay at home, your doctor may tell you to drink 2-3 glasses of water or juice and rest on your left side for 1 hour. If your symptoms do not improve in 1 hour, or improve but return later, call your doctor again or go to the hospital. If your symptoms go away, lie down for the rest of the day. Your doctor may ask you to come to the office for a checkup.

If your preterm labor symptoms progress, you should go to the hospital. Treatment at the hospital may include the following:

Your doctor may decide not to treat your preterm labor. In such cases, labor is allowed to continue to delivery. These cases may include:

  • Excessive vaginal bleeding
  • Very high blood pressure
  • An infection in your uterus
  • The baby has fatal birth defects or has died already
  • Placental abruption —when the placenta separates from the uterus before the fetus is delivered
REFERENCES:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Committee on Practice Bulletins—Obstetrics. ACOG practice bulletin no. 127: Management of preterm labor. Obstet Gynecol. 2012;119(6):1308-1317.

Preterm labor. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115273/Preterm-labor. Updated January 2, 2018. Accessed March 7, 2018.

Preterm (premature) labor and birth. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq087.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130423T0923201528. Updated November 2016. Accessed March 8, 2018.

What treatments are used to prevent preterm labor and birth? National Institute of Child Health & Human Development website. Available at: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preterm/conditioninfo/Pages/treatments.aspx. Updated January 31, 2017. Accessed March 8, 2018.

Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Beverly Siegal, MD, FACOG  Last Updated: 3/15/2015