I know! Let’s talk about pre-term labour.

Fun or what?

Now don’t pretend you haven’t googled the shit out of how far along you have to be before your baby is viable. The good news is that it’s around now.

That said, it’s best if the little weeble stays in there and cooks a little longer so if you experience some of these symptoms, it could mean that the party is getting started early and you should get in touch with your health care provider or shuffle yourself to a hospital.

Here’s what to watch for:

  • Cramping that is similar to what you’d experience during your period
  • Contractions that happen every 10 minutes or more (even if they aren’t painful)
  • Low, dull or rhythmic backache
  • Pressure in your pelvis like your baby is pushing down
  • Any vaginal spotting or bleeding
  • More vaginal discharge than usual or any change in it – like it’s watery or bloody (I know, this is a slightly embarrassing symptom to call up with, so just say you think you may be leaking amniotic fluid and they’ll take it from there. Plus, there is nothing they haven’t heard so there’s no point in being shy.)

The hard part is that back pain and cramping are often a part of pregnancy as a whole, so it’s not easy to distinguish between that and pre-term labour. The reason you should watch for it is because they can give you drugs to slow down your labour and other drugs reduce any complications your baby may have.

I know it’s a tricky road, I’ve been there. “Is that something?” “Was that normal?” “Should I call someone?” and I was always in fear of looking like an over anxious new mother or inconveniencing someone, but it really is no big deal to check it out when you weigh looking stupid against your baby having an extra day to develop its lungs so it’s got a better shot in the world.

Hey, there will be 9 billion things you’re going to look stupid for when you’re a mom – consider it practice.

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