Premature delivery is the #1 reason for newborn deaths. Call your provider if any of the usual warning signs of labor are present three weeks or more before your due date. These signs include:
- A general feeling that something isn't right: You simply don't feel well, without a specific cause.
- Pelvic or lower abdominal pressure: A feeling in the vagina, groin, or thighs as though the baby is "falling out."
- Menstrual-like abdominal cramps: Can occur with or without diarrhea.
- Uterine contractions: Four or more an hour in which the stomach feels tight, whether they're painless or uncomfortable.
- Any regular contractions are significant and probably not Braxton-Hicks contractions. Take them seriously.
- Dull lower backache: May radiate to the sides or front and isn't relieved by a change in position; may be constant or intermittent.
- Stomach cramps: May feel like "gas pains," with or without diarrhea
- Increase or change in vaginal discharge: May be pink, brownish, or other colors, mucousy or watery.
- Ruptured membranes: Your water breaks anytime before 37 weeks.