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Preterm Labor Questions
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Preterm Labor Questions

Hi all - posting again today - sorry.  I missed several days on here, as I was out of town.  But, I saw the June mommy update and started to panic a little, because so many of us were talking about contractions, losing mucous plug and preterm labor meds.  I am 33w4d today, and I get BH contractions a few times a day, but I am pretty sure they are BHs.  I was monitored in March for them, because I thought it was preterm, and there I was taught what BHs were.  Can any of you ladies describe preterm labor and what symptoms led the docs to put you on meds?  I feel that I know BHs pretty well, but I do not know preterm labor, and of course, now I'm thinking my BHs could be preterm.  Thanks very much!
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Avatar_f_tn
Preterm labor usually happens when you have about 6 contractions in an hour. They actually can dilate you whereas the bh do not. It is completely normal to have even 2 or 3 an hour throughout the day. bh usually go away when you lay on your left side and rest. Preterm labor will not. I hope this helps you out a bit.
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I had BH that were 3 minutes apart for over a day (at 36 weeks).  I thought for sure that I was in labor because they were so close together.  I was also told the rule of more than 6 in an hour.  But after going to the hospital I was told it was false labor.  They told me to look for contractions that get increasingly longer, stronger and more intense.  So if you're having contractions that aren't getting "worse" progressively, then you can most likely safely assume that they are still BH and not true labor.

Good luck!
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If you are exeriencing the danger signs of PTL, which are 6 or more contractions in an hour, back pain, change or increase in mucus discharge, leaking of fluid, or bleeding, you need to let your doctor know.  PTL is very different from regular labor, and frustratingly difficult to diagnose without going in.

Many women can have all the danger signs and NOT have PTL.  Some may have one sign and have PTL.  The good news is that there is a test called the fetal fibronectin test that can help to predict the likelihood of PTL.  They won't really use it after 33 weeks or so, though.

The best thing to do when you are worried, is to drink several glasses of water and lay on your side and track contractions for an hour if you think you may be having PTL contractions.  If they don't go away or markedly decrease, you need to let your doctor know.  Sometimes the only thing you can do is to go in to be checked, to make sure.

Very frustrating, PTL.  We can't predict it very accurately, which is why it is still a big threat to a healthy, sucessful pregnancy.  
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Avatar_n_tn
OK - thank you all.  I don't think they are PTL contractions, but sometimes I'm not sure.  He moves around so much in there, too!  They don't get intense or increase or anything like that, so I think I'm ok.  Thank you so much!
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Avatar_n_tn
I had 6 hours of contractions one night that were 10 minutes apart every time. I managed (through fear or stupidity) to wait it out and call doc in the morning, after finally getting to sleep somewhere around 3 am. The total of response I got from the office was to drink more and that I was probably dehydrated since my urine showed slight dehydration at my last appointment. Nothing else was said or done--a little irritating as I was laying in bed on my left side and had sucked down a large glass of water right before bed (not such a great plan either as I kept having to get up). I haven't had anything similar again, but am kind of hoping the doc will check me at my appt tomorrow when he does my GBS test just to see if things are starting to change. My first son came at 37 1/2 weeks, and doc seems to think this one might be early as well...

See if I try to be nice again and wait to call the doctor in the morning. :)
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