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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Women's Health Preterm birth

Preterm birth

Preterm birth refers to the birth of a baby of less than 37 weeks gestational age. It is also known as premature birth. It is the common cause for neonatal mortality. Preterm birth infants are more prone for short term or long term complications.

Premature birth is the birth of the fetus before 3 weeks of due date.


  • Contractions which occur more than six times each hour.
  • Low back pain.
  • Pelvic pain.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding.
  • Watery discharge from vagina.


  • Previous preterm birth
  • Multiple pregnancy.
  • Smoking.
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • Infections of genital tract.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Diabetes.
  • Overweight during pregnancy.
  • Underweight during pregnancy.
  • Multiple abortions.


  • Maternal complications:
  • Breathing difficulty.
  • Stoppage of bleeding or apnea.
  • Bleeding in the brain.
  • Fluid accumulation in the brain.
  • Cerebral palsy.
  • Vision problems.
  • Intestinal problems.
  • Developmental delays.
  • Learning disabilities.
  • Jaundice.
  • Anemia.
  • Low blood pressure.


  • If there is no contractions but cervical opening is present cervical cerclage is applied. In this the cervix is sutured.
  • If the pregnancy is 23 to 34 weeks steroids are recommended.
  • Nitroglycerine available as patches prevent preterm labor.