Preterm Labor Signs & Symptoms

Posted on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 in Videos

Childbirth instructor and registered nurse Wendy Nichols explains the signs and symptoms of preterm labor. If you experience any of these before 37 weeks of pregnancy, they should be reported to your physician.


Hi, I'm Wendy Nichols. I'm a registered nurse and the childbirth instructor for Signature Medical Group. Today we're going to talk about pre-term labor: signs and symptoms to report to your OB physician.

Pre-term labor is categorized as signs and symptoms of labor prior to your 37th week of pregnancy. Babies born too soon can have serious health problems at birth as well as in their future. Any woman can have pre-term labor but if you've had pre-term labor in the past, you have an increased risk of having it again.

Signs and symptoms of pre-term labor to report to your physician:

  • Regular or frequent contractions: that would be a tightening up sensation - feeling like a tight fist in your belly. If that happens 4 or more times an hour, you need to contact your OB provider.
  • Abdominal cramps: these cramps may be like menstrual cramps. They may be with or without diarrhea.
  • Pelvic or lower abdominal pressure. It may feel like the baby is trying to push down and out.
  • Low, dull backache
  • A change or increase in your vaginal discharge. It is normal to have white, creamy discharge during your pregnancy. It would not be normal if you had pinky, watery discharge or large amounts of mucus coming out vaginally before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Vaginal bleeding or a gush or tickle of fluid coming out from your vagina

If you have any of these symptoms before 37 weeks of pregnancy you could be experiencing pre-term labor. We want you to contact your OB provider.