The unintended birth of a baby before 37 weeks of pregnancy, not yet mature enough to live outside the womb, is called "premature birth.”
Births that occur before the 20th week of pregnancy are called “miscarriages.” It is observed in approximately 10% of all pregnancies.
The leading cause of newborn deaths or problems is premature birth. The most crucial problem of premature babies is insufficiency in lung development; because of this problem, babies born experience breathing difficulties prematurely. Also, the earlier the baby is born, the greater the risk of problems with the central nervous system.
The risks to the life of babies born with preterm birth decrease as the gestational week progresses. In recent years, developments in premature baby care are also exceptionally high, and the chances of survival of even very preterm babies are increasing.
However, sometimes premature birth can occur for no apparent reason.
Pregnant women who have experienced the risk of preterm birth in their previous pregnancies should know that they are also at significant risk in this pregnancy.
Regular uterine contractions and their recognition are the primary signs of preterm labor. You can feel the contraction of the uterus with your fingers on your stomach. This feeling may be in the form of your uterus clumping and hardening in the abdominal wall or feeling more tense than usual.
It is essential if the hardening is recurring at specific intervals. Initially, they are painless without causing discomfort. You should inform your doctor when they occur more than 3-4 times an hour.
It should not be forgotten that success in preventing preterm labor depends on its early detection.
The diagnosis of preterm labor is made by detecting uterine contractions. It is diagnostic before the 37th week of pregnancy if 2 contractions are palpated every 10 minutes in at least half an hour of observation. If the contractions cannot be detected or determined manually, they can be easily detected with the NST.
The pregnant should be taken to bed rest, and fluid intake should be increased. Then, it should be investigated whether any factors may cause preterm labor, and if it is detected, it should be treated as soon as possible. It is possible to stop or delay preterm labor with medical treatment, except in some cases that require emergency delivery. For this purpose, various treatment methods and, if necessary, drugs to ensure the baby’s lung maturation are applied by the physician following the pregnancy to stop the contractions.