Premature birth is considered which occurs more than three weeks before the estimated birth date, ie before the 37th week of pregnancy. Depending on how early the baby is born, it may be late, moderate or extreme premature. Most premature babies are late, and are born between week 34 and 36.


These issues, the symptoms of premature birth, their possible causes and others will be discussed in this article, in which we will focus more on childbirth, rather than on possible deficits of the baby. The sooner the baby is born, the more immature he will be, and therefore the greater vital complications he will have.

Symptoms of premature birth

First time mothers have the feeling that they will not know when they are in childbirth, we can ensure that you will know, however it is important to recognize the signs. These should occur from week 37, but they can also occur earlier. You will then be facing premature birth, it is important that you go to the doctor immediately, since it will be the specialists who make the decision to continue labor or try to stop it.

Some symptoms of preterm birth include:

  • Regular or frequent sensations of hardening of the abdomen, which are contractions. Feeling of pressure in the pelvis or in the lower abdomen. Mild colic.
  • Dull, mild and constant pain in the back
  • Spotting or mild vaginal bleeding.
  • Premature rupture of membranes: continuous loss of fluid, in the form of a jet or drip, after the membrane is broken or torn around the baby.
  • Change in the type of vaginal discharge, becomes watery, looking like mucus or bloody.

Do not be afraid to confuse a false childbirth with another true, it is better to prevent and that you and the baby are best cared for.

Can preterm birth be prevented?

The exact cause of preterm birth is most often unknown. But there are certain treatments, or tips that help certain pregnant women reduce their risk of preterm birth. For example, women with a history of preterm birth, short cervix, or both may reduce their risk of preterm birth with progesterone supplements.

Cervical cerclageis a surgical procedure that is practiced during pregnancy in women who have short cervixor history of shortening of the cervix that caused premature birth in their day. With these strong sutures, additional support is offered to the uterus. When the baby is already ripe and labor begins they are removed. If you have a cervical cerclage, the doctor will give you instructions on the activities you should or should not do during the rest of your pregnancy.

Some research suggests that a diet high in polyunsaturated fatty acids results in a lower risk of premature birth. These are found in nuts, seeds, their oils, and fish, mainly.

Risk factors

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Although we have already noted that the specific cause of preterm birth is often unclear, it does seem that there are certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of childbirth ahead of time. These are:

  • There has already been a premature birth or birth before. Especially in the most recent pregnancy. Premature births are more frequent in multiple pregnancies.
  • The age of the mother, both for being very young as if she is older. It is also at risk if there is an interval of less than 12 months between one pregnancy and the next, or more than 59 months.
  • Certain infections, particularly amniotic fluid and lower genital tract.
  • Some chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and depression.
  • Problems with the uterus or placenta, shortened cervix. Excess amniotic fluid. Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy.
  • Presence of a congenital defect in the fetus.
  • Smoking or use of illegal drugs.
  • If stressful events occur during pregnancy.

Some studies suggest that women who or their siblings were born prematurely are more likely to have a premature baby. In this way, preterm birth could be related to previous experiences of prematurity in the family.