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Treatment of Preterm Labor and Delivery

Treatment will depend on the baby's growth, especially the lungs. Labor may be stopped in a baby that is not developed enough. This may be done with:

Labor may be allowed to continue in a baby that is more developed. It may also be done when there is:

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

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Practice Bulletins—Obstetrics. Practice Bulletin No. 171: Management of Preterm Labor. Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Oct;128(4):e155-64, reaffirmed 2018.

Premature labor. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/premature-labor. Accessed July 31, 2020.

Preterm labor and birth. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development website. Available at: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preterm/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed July 31, 2020.

Preterm labor and birth. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/labor-delivery-and-postpartum-care/preterm-labor-and-birth. Accessed July 31, 2020.

Preterm labor. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/preterm-labor. Accessed July 31, 2020.

What treatments are used to prevent preterm labor and birth? National Institute of Child Health and Human Development website. Available at: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preterm/conditioninfo/Pages/treatments.aspx. Updated January 31, 2017. Accessed August 3, 2020.

Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Beverly Siegal, MD, FACOG  Last Updated: 2/26/2021