Warning Signs of Preterm Labor

Warning Signs of Preterm Labor


  1.  Uterine contractions
    Four (4) or more per hour - May be painless
  2.  Menstrual-like cramps
    Felt low in the abdomen - May be constant or come and go
  3.  Lower, dull backaches
    Lower back pain that may radiate to the sides or the front - not  relieved by change in position
  4.  Pelvic pressure
    It may feel as though the baby is going to "Fall out"
  5.  Stomach cramps
    You may have the feeling of "gas pains" with or without diarrhea
  6.  Increase/change in vaginal discharge
    May become pink or brown - tinged, mucousy or watery
  7.  A general feeling that something is not right
    You may just not feel well even without a specific cause


There are three signs of labor to watch for.  You may have one or more of these signs:

  1. Bloody show – this may occur before or during labor.  This “show” is blood-tinged mucous that is discharged when the mouth of the womb opens or dilates.  If this occurs after 36 weeks, it is normal and you should not be concerned about it.  IF YOU HAVE HEAVY BLEEDING LIKE A PERIOD, CALL OUR OFFICE OR GO TO THE HOSPITAL!
  2. Bag of water breaks – this is fluid that surrounds your baby and protects it during pregnancy.  The bag may just leak and you will feel wet all the time or it may gush and the fluid will run down your leg.  CALL THE OFFICE OR GO TO THE HOSPITAL IF YOU THINK YOUR BAG OF WATER BROKE!
  3. Contractions – the pains or contractions begin mild and irregular, but then become stronger and closer together.  You should time your contractions.  When your feel one starting, write down the time.  When the next one starts, write down the time.  Record and time the length of the contraction.  After 36 weeks gestation (when you are one month before your due date) and your contractions come every five minutes or less for one hour, call our office or go to the hospital.  If you are less than 36 weeks and you feel four or more contractions per hour, call our office or go to the hospital; you may be in preterm labor.

When the office is closed, you can call Labor and Delivery at your preferred hospital to reach Dr. Underwood or the doctor on call during the weekend.  The phone number for L & D is:

GMHA L&D 671-647-2050

When you arrive at the hospital, always enter through the Emergency Room (ER) and you will be directed to Labor and Delivery from there.  A registered nurse will be there to examine you, and will call the doctor.

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