(the abdomen tightens like a fist) every 10 minutes or more often
leaking fluid or bleeding
the feeling that the baby is pushing down
usually in your lower back
that feel like a menstrual period
with or without diarrhea
In most cases, premature labor begins unexpectedly. Understand the signs and symptoms of premature labor (printable version). Call your doctor right away if you think you are having any symptoms of labor. Having your baby before 37 weeks could have serious consequences for mother and baby.
Your doctor can evaluate you to determine if you are in real labor. If you are, there are treatments that may help to slow labor and may help improve the health of your baby.
Birth is a complex and wonderful process. Fortunately, the outcome for most women is a full term, healthy baby.
By understanding your risks of premature birth, you may be able to take early, proactive steps to help your baby have the best start in life.