Options to slow preturm labor


Q: I'm 30 weeks pregnant I went for a stress test found out I'm having big contractions the doctor checked me my cervix is fully effaced but not dilated he put me on bed rest and have me meds to slow labor I'm wondering how long will the pills stop the labor and should they be giving me steroids to help baby grow

Symptoms:  Preturm labor

A:   Hello,
Thanks for contacting askthedoctor.com

Preterm labour is a labour which occurs before 37 weeks period of gestation with regular contractions and cervical effacement and progressive dilatation. However , in your case you are just 30 weeks and the cervix is fully effaced but luckily not dilated and the amniotic membranes are still intact.

There are indications of using uterine relaxants in preterm labour to buy time for antenatal corticosteroid administration to achieve lung maturation of the fetus in 48 hrs so that in case labour ensues then atleast on delivery the child would be able to breathe in the external environment. The second indicationin modern obstetrics is IN-utero transfer to allow mother from a primary care center to a tertiary care center with better facilities.

In your case, complete bed rest is advised and also steroids would be given to achieve lung maturity of the fetus. The best part is that the membranes are still intact and the delivery is not imminent and chances of ascending infection are minimum ( chorioamnionitis) with intact membranes, so there are chances that if with uterine relaxants for 2-3 days , if the preterm labour is arrested , then the immediate aim to continue the pregnancy would be 34 weeks and possibly you may have to stay admitted in the hospital for this whole period for safe confinement. However , your physician would be the best judge to make a decision regarding your status and chances are that if labour is averted then pregnancy may continue till term. But you have to show patience and have to follow complete bed rest for all this period as per advise of your physician.

I hope i have answered your queries in detail.
wishing you a safe pregnancy,

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