How Do I Know If I’m in Pre-Term Labor?
Find the answers to questions that pique your curiosity in our series “The Short Answer.” Ob/Gyn Jeff Chapa, MD, fields this one about pre-term labor.
Q: I’m having cramping and I don’t know if this would be considered pre-term labor? Should I be concerned?
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A: Cramping can sometimes be normal during pregnancy ―as your uterus is getting bigger. Pre-term labor is caused by contractions that make your cervix dilate.
Contractions are most often described as a tightening feeling across the belly. Often, your belly will feel very hard when you’re having a contraction.
Generally, if you’re under 34 weeks, you should call your doctor if you have more than four to six contractions per hour. Other reasons to call? If you’re having vaginal bleeding or leaking fluid (which can also be signs of labor).
― Ob/Gyn Jeff Chapa, MD