Preterm or premature labor is when there are contractions and cervical changes before 37 weeks gestation. Preterm labor is diagnosed when contractions begin and intensify between the 20th and 37th week of gestation. Preterm labor can lead to the birth of a premature baby or the birth of a baby that is not viable if born before the 27th week of gestation. In most cases of preterm labor, the contractions begin spontaneously and without definitive cause. Preterm labor offers a unique set of challenges for both mom and baby.

Why Early Induction Is Not the Best Choice

The word "term," as used in pregnancy, was once used to describe pregnancies between the 37th and 41st week of gestation, but new evidence suggests that infants born prior to the 39th week may not be term at all. ... read more »

Exercise - When to Stop During Pregnancy

How do I know when to stop exercise during pregnancy? ... read more »

Can Sex and Exercise Harm My Baby?

Sex and exercise are safe during pregnancy. ... read more »

What to Expect From Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy

As the end of the pregnancy approaches, pelvic pain is often a signal of the start of labor. Labor pelvic pain is associated with pressure on the pelvis or the feeling that baby is getting heavier. ... read more »

Acute Fever, Pregnancy and Fertility

An acute fever can be a sign of a serious complication for a pregnant woman or her baby. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests that a pregnant woman call her doctor immediately if she develops a fever or chills. ... read more »

Vaginal Progesterone Reduces Risk of Preterm Birth

The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG) has released a study with global implications. According to the report, use of vaginal progesterone cream in pregnancies where women have a short cervix could reduce the risk of preterm birth more than 40%. ... read more »

Pregnancy Disorders and Retinopathy Risk in Newborns

Researchers from the Floating Hospital for Children recently published a study in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine on the possible connection between pregnancy disorders and retinopathy in extremely low birth weight newborns. ... read more »

Neuroprotection of the Fetus with Magnesium Sulfate

Magnesium sulfate can be delivered via IV to pregnant women who are at risk of eclampsia or preterm labor. Researchers also believe the medication could prove useful as an antenatal medication to protect the fetus from brain injury ... read more »

Blue-Light Goggles in Development to Prevent Preterm Labor

Approximately 35% of all infant deaths in the US are linked to preterm labor. These grim statistics have led one professor on a quest to find a safe and effective way to prevent preterm labor. ... read more »

Scotland Bans Smoking, Reduces Premature Births

In March of 2006, Scotland passed legislation that banned smoking in public settings. The legislation did not focus on pregnant women, but the ban has proven to be quite helpful in terms of reducing the number of preterm deliveries in the country. ... read more »

Cervical Monitor for Premature Labor Detection

Preterm labor detection commonly relies on an exterior device that picks up contractions when attached to the abdomen. With more than 500,000 premature births being recorded each year, obstetricians are constantly on the lookout for improved means of detecting preterm labor earlier. ... read more »

Measuring Cervix May Help Reduce Prematurity

There is now ample evidence that measuring the cervix with transvaginal ultrasound can identify pregnancies that may be at risk for preterm labor and delivery and treating them with progesterone may decrease preterm labor and delivery. ... read more »

Can An Orgasm Induce Labor?

The topic of orgasm during pregnancy is actually quite controversial and in the past, it was thought that orgasms could trigger preterm labor. ... read more »

Magnesium Sulfate May Prevent Cerebral Palsy in Infants

Besides environmental factors and genetics, one of the biggest risks to unborn children is maternal illness. ... read more »

How Do Orgasms Affect Pregnancy?

Studies have shown that having an orgasm during pregnancy has no adverse effect on the pregnancy, it does not hurt the baby, nor does it complicate the pregnancy. It also does not improve your fertility and your chances getting pregnant. ... read more »

Masturbation During Pregnancy

Can I masturbate while I am pregnant? ... read more »

Is it Safe to Use a Vibrator During Pregnancy?

There are no scientific studies which address whether using a vibrator during pregnancy is safe or not. For for most normal, healthy pregnant women, orgasm is a good release. ... read more »

Is It Safe To Be At A High Altitude During Pregnancy?

Is it safe to be at a high altitude during pregnancy? There is limited data on the actual impact of high altitude during pregnancy ... ... read more »

Women Still Using Cocaine During Pregnancy

A study was recently published in the journal Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology explaining the potential side effects of cocaine use on the pregnant woman and her offspring. ... read more »

When You Might Need a Fetal Fibronectin Test

Preterm labor is a concern for many pregnant women, especially as they near the end of their final trimester and feel like the baby could come out at any moment. ... read more »

Preterm Labor Can Actually be Stopped with a Heart Medication

If you start going into labor too soon before your due date, your doctor might try to stop the birth. While halting a birth in its tracks seems like it would be an unsafe procedure, the risks associated with it are not as likely to occur as the risks associated with preterm birth. ... read more »