Information for Patients
While childbirth usually goes well, complications can happen. They can cause a risk to the mother, baby, or both. Possible complications include
- Preterm (premature) labor, when labor starts before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy
- Problems with the umbilical cord
- Problems with the position of the baby, such as breech, in which the baby is going to come out feet first
- Birth injuries
For some of these problems, the baby may need to be delivered surgically by a Cesarean section.
Preterm labor is labor that starts before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. It can lead to premature birth. Premature babies may face serious health risks.
Symptoms of preterm labor include
- Contractions every 10 minutes or more often
- Leaking fluid or bleeding from the vagina
- Feeling of pressure in the pelvis
- Low, dull backache
- Cramps that feel like menstrual cramps
- Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea
If you think you might be having preterm labor, contact your health care provider.
NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development