Karen Schroeder Kassel, MS, RD, MEd
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 2-3 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, 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 August 19, 2016 . Accessed October 6, 2016.
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. Accessed April 23, 2013.
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 November 30, 2012. Accessed April 23, 2013.
Last reviewed March 2016 by Karli-Rae Kerrschneider, RN
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