I am less than 36 weeks and am having regular contractions. What should I do?
Preterm labor is a profound problem in obstetrics, affecting 7-10 percent of pregnant women. The causes are multifactorial and the presentation varied. In general, we are much more tolerant of contractions after 34 weeks. Before 34 weeks, we are much less tolerant of contractions that occur more than 6 per hour. If you are having contractions and think they could be labor contractions, you will be instructed to rest on your side, drink 32-64 oz. of water and observe the contractions. If contractions continue at more than 6 per hour or worsen, then this is more concerning for the possibility of preterm labor, and you will be asked to come into labor and delivery. There are some signs which make the possibility of preterm labor higher. Those include foul smelling or blood tinged discharge or suspected rupture of membranes.