Am I Having Preterm Labour?

Signs and Symptoms

It is not always easy for a woman to tell if she is having preterm labour. Many of the signs of preterm labour can feel the same as some of the normal things that happen in the second half of the pregnancy.

The important signs to watch for, especially if they are new or different from before are:

  • Bad cramps or stomach pains that don’t go away
  • Bleeding, or trickle/gush of fluid from your vagina
  • Lower back pain/pressure, or a change in lower backache
  • A feeling that the baby is pushing down
  • Contractions, or a change in the strength or number of them
  • A significant change in your baby’s movements
  • A sudden increase in the amount of vaginal discharge
  • Some women may just feel that ‘something is not right’
A word about contractions

Preterm labour contractions feel different from the normal tightenings (Braxton Hicks) that many women feel in the second half of pregnancy.

  • They may feel more regular
  • They do not go away if you move around or lie down
  • There may be other signs that happen with the contractions, such as fluid leaking from the vagina or pelvic pressure

If you have any of the signs of preterm labour, call your midwife or go to the hospital! You need to be seen by a midwife/doctor to confirm if you are in preterm labour. It is important to seek medical advice, no matter what the day or time.