If you are experiencing any symptoms of preterm labor, call your doctor immediately. 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 two to three glasses of water or juice and rest on your left side for one hour. If your symptoms do not improve in one 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:
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG practice bulletin no. 127: Management of preterm labor. Obstet Gynecol. 2012;119(6):1308-1317.
Late-Preterm Infants. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Committee Opinion No. 404, April 2008. (Reaffirmed 2011)
Prematurity. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated April 18, 2013 . Accessed April 23, 2013.
Preterm labor. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated March 15, 2013 . Accessed April 23, 2013.
Preterm labor and birth. March of Dimes website. Available at: http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/preterm_indepth.html. Updated September 2012. Accessed April 23, 2013.
Preterm labor. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq087.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130423T0923201528. Accessed April 23, 2013.
What treatments are used to prevent preterm labor and birth? National Institute of Child Health & Human Development website. Available at: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preterm/conditioninfo/Pages/treatments.aspx. Updated November 30, 2012. Accessed April 23, 2013.
Last reviewed April 2013 by Andrea Chisholm, MD; Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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