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.
Signs and symptoms of premature birth 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.