Early labor: how to tell, and what to do
  
Why does early labour happen?
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Why does early labour happen?


It's a bit of an unknown area, and often doctors just don't know why a woman has gone into early labour, but there are some factors that can trigger it.

In "Healthy Beginnings: Giving your baby the best start from preconception to birth," Dr. Nan Shuurmans of the SOGC lays out some of the more banal causes of preterm labour. 

1 - Smoking
Obviously you shouldn't be smoking in the first place but it's never too late to quit. However, it's best to quit before you reach the 32-week marker. 

2- Working too hard
Staying on after hours, doing physical work, and making yourself tired in general is a bad idea when you're expecting. 

3- Physical and emotional abuse
When someone hurts you, they hurt baby - simple as that. Emotional abuse may not leave bruises, but it can raise your stress levels enough to cause early labour. 

4- Bleeding during the second trimester
Bleeding during the pregnancy can be benign. However, you should always check with your doctor if this happens. A small amount of bleeding can happen if the placenta starts to pull away from the lining of teh uterus. 

5- Common infections during pregnancy
Vagina, bladder and kidney infections are common during pregnancy. Don't ignore them. They must be treated so as not to trigger preterm labour. 

6- Being underweight during pregnancy
Don't think about your post-baby body - that's for after the pregnancy. When you're carrying the little one, keep your weight up with healthy foods. 

There are also medical conditions - incompetent cervixfibroids, gestational hypertension, chronic illness, rupture of the membranes and placenta previa - that can trigger preterm labour, so make sure to check with your doctor. 


Parenting Editor
2012/12/06
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