I will never forget the controlled pre-term labor experience that I had during my 31st week of pregnancy. Thank God it was controlled. From women.webmd.com article, pre-term labor (premature labor) is when you start having contractions and true labor after your 20th week of pregnancy, and more than 3 weeks before you expect to deliver your baby. Contractions (tightening of the uterus’ muscles) cause the cervix (lower end of the uterus) to open earlier than normal. It may result in the birth of a premature baby. Good thing that there are certain ways to control the labor to allow the baby more time to grow and develop in the uterus.
Signs of pre-term labor | pre-term labor symptoms
- Contractions in your uterus every 10 minutes or more often
- Tightening or low, dull backache that may be constant or come and go, but changing positions and other comfort measures don’t ease it
- Menstrual-like cramps or lower abdominal cramping that may feel like gas pains, with or without diarrhea
- Increased pressure in your pelvis or vagina
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Leaking of fluid from the vagina
- Vaginal bleeding
- Flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Less movement or kicking by your baby
Controlled Pre-term labor experience
What stimulates my pre-term labor contractions? or What causes controlled pre-term labor? Different stress factors may trigger the pre-term labor and in my experience being constipated a few days before I had the pre-term labor might be the big factor. It was not just a simple constipation because solid stool was formed that I had to push hard with difficulty to release it. Prolonged standing and walking of more than 20 minutes might cause stress to my baby and eating spicy or foods with lots of pepper are possible causes too. I think these are factors that stimulates the Oxytocin- a hormone that stimulates labor contractions.
The signs and symptoms that I experience in pre-term labor started when I noticed a brownish spotting after I wiped a wet tissue after I urinate early in the morning. I was alarmed. The day before it happened, I had constipation and push hard to release the stool. After that, I experience frequent urination followed by contractions in my uterus in almost every ten minutes. To answer how to stop pre term labor, I immediately went to see my doctor. I was praying for a controlled pre-term labor.
Initial Tests done to check in my pre-term labor
- Non-Stress Test (NST) was done to to check baby’s heart rate and uterine contractions. – The results showed that I have random contractions every 7 minutes that is why my Obstetrician advised me to be admitted in the hospital for close monitoring and to take proper treatment to stop pre-term labor.
- Prenatal Ultrasound to check the baby and the condition of my amniotic fluid. – In my case amniotic fluid is enough and at normal range.
- The Doctor or Obstetrician check the cervix if it is opening. – My cervix is still closed and no vaginal fluid leaking.
In the evening, we went back to the hospital packed with things I needed for admission such as extra dress, wet & dry tissue, grooming kit, water jug, towel, milk, and my prenatal vitamins.
Treatment of pre-term labor contractions at the hospital
When I was admitted they have done fetal and uterine contractions monitoring. To control the pre-term labor contractions, first they attached dextrose and put magnesium sulfate into my veins. It felt so hot or warm as it enters into your veins and I think it makes the body relax. This medicine took 24 hours for the effectiveness and the doctor will monitor how your body will react.
Unfortunately, after this treatment my labor contractions did not stop so they have given another medicine into my veins and on the following days they have increase the dosage. On the fifth day, I was already taking oral medicine and I am thankful that the pre-term labor contraction was controlled.
They still continue the monitoring and on the seventh day I was finally discharged. I still felt some mild uterine contractions at home that is why I am in complete bed rest and continued my oral medication.
I would like to thank the hospital staff, my doctors ( Obstetrician – Dra. Pichay, Dra. Nualla, etc.), nurses, interns, and the physical therapist who took care of me when I was admitted at MCU hospital. They truly helped to my controlled pre-term labor. Special thanks to my family, my loving husband, close friends, and colleauges who are there for me praying and took extra care in my darkest situation.
Also, thanks to my esupermommy sponsors during that time such as Safeguard, Cetaphil products, and others. They keep me hygienic, fresh, and clean even I have not taken a bath in a week when I was admitted.
If you feel something unusual and strange during your pregnancy, always consult your Obstetrician.