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Monitoring

If you are in preterm labor or think you may be, your doctor may do some tests to monitor you and your baby. These tests include:

  • Lab tests—These may involve testing blood, urine, and cells from the cervix or amniotic fluid to look for infection.
  • Ultrasound—This test uses sound waves to create images of the inside of your body. In this case, the ultrasound is done to:
    • Examine the placenta
    • Check the baby’s age
    • Look for birth defects in the baby
    • See the position of the baby
    • Measure the cervix and the amount of amniotic fluid
  • Amniocentesis —This test involves removing a small amount of amniotic fluid to look for infection or to see if the baby’s lungs are mature.

References:

Premature labor. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/premature-labor. Updated August 2015. Accessed March 4, 2016.

Preterm labor. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115273/Preterm-labor. Updated August 19, 2016 . Accessed October 6, 2016.

Preterm labor. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Preterm-Premature-Labor-and-Birth. Accessed March 4, 2016.

Sosa CG, Althabe F, Belzan JM, Bergel E. Bed rest in singleton pregnancies for preventing preterm birth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015;3:CD003581.



Last reviewed March 2016 by Michael Woods, 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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