Is It Premature Labor or Not?

Updated on September 08, 2011
S.M. asks from Bedminster, NJ
15 answers

I've had constant back pain for about 8 hours now, I've slept all day and don't really know if I had contractions, my water hasn't broken, I'm not bleeding but I've had mild cramping but not regular enough to keep track of, I'm also feeling pressure like pain in my vag. I feel sick everytime I eat something and I'm a little pale and have dark circles under my eyes. Should I call my ob, go to the hospital or just keep laying down using heat pads to try and take the pain away? Sorry, I'm 34 weeks.

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So What Happened?

sorry I didn't get a chance to update everyone, I was having contractions that were 3 to 4 min apart that the drs couldn't stop for 6 hours, I'm still having them but they've gave me meds to take every 4 hours to keep them away...not quite working like it should. Yes told the dr last night while I was back at the hospital gettin my last steroid shot to help strengthen his lungs some more just in case he gets here in a few days. He's healthy and everything so hopefully it all be good if he does decide to make an early entrance.

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answers from Tampa on

I was nauseous for the 2 days before labor started... My Midwife told me to drink a lot of water and lay on my left side to help contraction subside.

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answers from Pocatello on

whoa there!

Drink a lot of water, lay down on your left side and call your OB, NOW! You are 33 weeks? that is way to early to have contractions and a premature birth now could be terrible news for you and your baby!!! Cramping can be labor pains this early on! the doctor or an OB nurse will tell you whether to come in or not, when I had the same symptoms I called the OB and they had me rush in, so they could do a test to make sure I wasn't in preterm labor... turns out i was dehydrated!


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answers from Kansas City on

My Dr. Always said it's not the patient's job to figure these things out. It's the Dr's job. Just call! Good luck!

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answers from Philadelphia on

judging by the size of your.........WAIT, HOLD THE PHONE... I'm no OB....but you have one, call them. I hope you're not since you're early. GL

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answers from Denver on

Yep, that's how I felt the day before and day I went into labor, but it's different for everyone. I would call your doc for sure! Have you lost your mucous plug?



answers from New York on

S., premature labor is a dangerous situation and something that you should never waste precious time on the internet getting opinions about. The only person who can determine if your baby is in need of attention is your own doctor. When you have a questionable situation in pregnancy, you contact your doctor - the hospital is for emergencies when you do not have time to waste contacting your doctor. Sleeping, being pale and dark circles indicate exhaustion or maybe illness, but if you have anything that you think could be a sign of preterm labor, you should contact your doctor's office right away. Good luck



answers from Charlotte on




answers from New York on

How far along are you. CALL YOUR DOC NOW!


Call doctor as soon as possible.


answers from Dover on

Call your OB, like, now. Just because you can't time the pains doesn't mean that they're not labor pains. Some women have exclusively back labor, some have none & some a combination.



answers from Chicago on

You don't say how far along you are, I would call your OB to get his/her opinion. They may have you come into the office or be seen at the hospital, it depends a lot on your gestation and clinical situation (medical complications, high risk, GBS+, etc). Being dehydrated can cause some of the things you mention, so be sure you are drinking plenty of fluids. But definitely call your OB ASAP, preterm labor is not something to mess with. Good luck in the rest of your pregnancy.


answers from Columbia on

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Then call your OB.



answers from Rochester on

You don't mention if this is your first or not. Cramping and pressure might be clues you need to be careful. 34 weeks may result in a baby that is viable, but the longer your baby stays indoors during gestation the better they will be able to survive after birth. If your OB/maternal care is not advising you to put your feet up at least I'd seek a new provider.

Contact your provider. Last I knew heat isn't good for you or the baby, although it feels good. Try a warm shower or tepid to warmish bath instead, and something calming like lavender essential oil. Aura cacia makes a natural one. Enough water to float may relieve some of your symptoms.

Turning off your TV and reading to your baby-in-waiting may help soothe you also.

Good luck, and try to keep that baby indoors as long as you can!


answers from Toledo on

Call you OB now.... this is how I felt the day I went into labor and it is too soon.



answers from New York on

Call your ob right away !!!


answers from Dallas on

I responded to your other one and then the question was gone by the time I posted it! :-)

Premature labor can be weird, from what I've heard. I've known women who have extreme, constant pain in their belly, and then end up having a baby from it. It doesn't at all fit the definition of normal labor.

That being said, I've had constant back pain all day before, and it was sciatic nerve pain, not premature labor. It's very painful and makes it hard to do much of anything. So, that's another possibility.

As for the cramping, I get that and it's not from labor. But it can be. I've never experienced premature labor myself. But this is my 5th pregnancy, and I feel a lot of weird pains and movements, and sometimes I swear the baby is going to dig her way out! Babies can get uncomfy near the end.

But I think it would be a good idea to call your OB just to let him/her know and decide what to do from there. Don't feel silly if it ends up being nothing. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Oh, and I get bad back labor when I'm in labor. For me, it's not a constant pain like you're describing. It's awful pain (sciatic labor pains!), but it still comes as contractions. I used to wonder if I"d know when I was in labor, and I definitely know each time!

But again, premature labor can be different. I've heard some women describe it and for some, it's much different than typical labor.

Hope all is fine!

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