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 cervix, fibroids, gestational hypertension, chronic illness, rupture of the membranes and placenta previa - that can trigger preterm labour, so make sure to check with your doctor.