How Long Until Labor?

Updated on November 13, 2008
T.S. asks from Gowanda, NY
7 answers

Hello, I am 29 years old and pregnant with my 4th child. I went to the hospital at 30 weeks with cramping/contractions, they did the preterm labor test and it came back negative and gave me a shot to stop the contractions and sent me home. Again I went at 34 weeks but they only put me on the monitor and checked me and told me that I was 50% but still closed,also said they really don't do anything to stop labor once you reach 34 weeks, my due date is December 20th. Has anyone else experienced this and how long before actual labor. I know it is different for everyone, just wondering if anyone else went through this. My worst fear is I would go into labor and not make it to the hospital, which is like 40 min. away. Didn't have any of these symptons with the others. My first 2 were quick, 3rd I was induced. Look forward to hearing back from you. Thanks, T.

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answers from Utica on

Hi T.
The good news is it won't be more than 6 weeks right?
I went into labor at 18 weeks, hospital, mag drip, or all kinds of things. From then on I was in labor. Taking meds to ward off delivery labor. OK so, how long did I stay in bed at home on bed rest? After the week in the hospital I was on complete bed rest for 19 more weeks. Each milestone the OB office was thrilled that I had waited another week. At 34 weeks they actually brought a cake and we had a party. It was a big deal!!! Because of my appt. date I was taken of meds at 37 weeks 3 days. I delivered within 48 hours of my last dose of meds. OB said it would take 2-3 weeks for it to get out of my system. Well, I delivered twin girls weighing in at 6'8" & 5'11" healthy and strong. You want them to stay where they are as long as possible. We too live about an hour from the nearest hospital, and all was well. If in doubt call the hospital and tell them you are on your way and bring your cell, they can always send out the ambulence. I had all mine C-section so getting there in time was not an issue, but getting to the hospital with neonatal stages for twins was.
God bless you and your family
K. SAHM married 38 years-- adult children 37,32, and twins 18.



answers from New York on

Both of my girls were early - I was due 3/5 w/my oldest and started w/preterm labor on 1/3 - she was born right @ 36 wks and was fine - my youngest was due 12/14 & I began w/preterm labor the end of Oct - they biggest concern is the lungs & if they can get u past the 36th week there's a better chance of them being developed - I had to have an amnio w/my 2nd so they could check her lungs - that is the only way they can do that but it wasn't okay yet so I was on meds for another week or so. I can understand you being nervous about not making it to the hospital on time, but if you have to call 911 and have them take u by ambulance. Everyone there is trained to deliver a baby and plus you would get top priority the second they pulled in the driveway. Wouldn't it be so easy if we had one of those turkey poppers so we knew! The best of luck to you!



answers from Buffalo on

When I was pregnant with my daughter I went into labor at 31 weeks. At that time they told me I was fully dialated fully afaced. They gave me shots to help her breeathing and then when they stoped it 2x that week, they put me on heart meds to stop contractions and full bedrest. I made it to 38 weeks and they induced me.



answers from New York on

Make sure you are drinking lots of water. Dehydration can cause premature contractions. Anyone I know who had this problem (my sister-in-law and my cousin) was not drinking enough water.



answers from Syracuse on

Hi T., this happened to me. I went in first at 28 weeks I think, then again at 30 weeks and again at 33 weeks. Each time they tried all the usual "stopping labor" stuff. I was having contractions every 1.5 to 2 minutes! But was not dilated or effaced any of the times. When they treated me with IV antibiotics for a vaginal infection, the contractions slowed down and then stopped, each time. But the infection kept coming back and then I'd be in again. Anyway, my water broke at 37 weeks and because of extremely high heart rate that wouldn't come down with fluids, they did a C-Section. This was my second baby, my first was 13 months when she was born, so my body was under a lot of stress. Also I was insulin dependent gestational diabetic with both pregnancies (but am not diabetic normally), with severe asthma problems. I hope this info helps you. I hope you make it close to your due date, for the sake of the baby! Good luck during this stressful time, I know how scary it is to be going through this.



answers from New York on

I was having contractions from about 30 weeks on until I delivered with my 3rd child. I've heard that this becomes more likely the more kids you have. The doctor put me on meds and bedrest to stop the contractions because I was already dilated, and took me off at 36 weeks. The contractions started up immediately and I thought I was in labor, but the hospital just sent me home. I ended up having to be induced in the end.



answers from New York on

Hi T.,
There really is no way of knowing, and if you are not actually having preterm labor, but just contractions, you aren't likely to have the baby any sooner.
If you suspect labor, there isn't any harm in going to your doctor's office or hospital to check things out.
As for not knowing when it's actually time, you would typically know it's time for the hospital or birth center when having contractions starting consistently every 5 minutes, lasting a full minute and holding that pattern for an hour - and typically you'd have seen some of the other labor signs - loss of mucous plug, diarrhea, burst of energy, back ache, water leaking/ gushing, etc. In genuine labor, your contractions gradually come closer together, last longer and get stronger - if they jump around or there is no change, it's likely not the real deal.
Good luck

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