Prepareing for Preterm Delivery?

Updated on January 09, 2011
D.G. asks from Fleming Island, FL
13 answers

At 29 weeks now, i've been dealing with preterm labor problems since saturday. I've been given 3 1/2 bags of fluids throug IVs, 4 shots of terbutaline, terbutaline pills to take every 6 hours nausea meds, been told to drink only gatorade and water and to rest. Yet I can still feel my contractions, i've had vaginal swelling and discomfort and it seems like she's still coming regardless of everything. I see my OB again on tuesday (30 weeks) but what do I do until then? Should I prepare for the worse (her coming early) and if so how do I do that? Sorry but I've never delt with preterm labor before. I have two boys (whose pregnancies and labor were almost identical) but it's like being a first time mom all over again. Thanks ladies.

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So What Happened?

Well ladies sorry took so long to respond. Just got out of the hospital today. I went to get check and i was a full 1 1/2 cm dialated and within like 3 hours i was 3cm sooo I had to get admitted for almost a week. I've been on magnesium sulfate and other pills to stop my contractions. Got my steroid shots for her lungs so it's beenall about keeping her in. I'm on bed rest w/ bathromom privalges so I'll take it easy for now. I just wanted everyone to stay update. Thanks again ladies!!!

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

i went into active labor every other day for nearly 11 weeks with my middle child, and managed to carry him to 36.5 weeks. it was a SUCKY 11 weeks, but i made it with IV fluids and terbutilene, combined with strict bedrest, sometimes inpatient. i was 80% effaced and dilated to 5cm the entire time. so, continue to take your meds, and i'm sure if the dr feels that the baby is really in danger of coming soon, he/she will give you a series of 2 steroids shots(24 hrs apart) to boost the lung maturity, on the plus side, girl preemies usually fare much better than boys! as far as prep, you need to do NOTHING. rest rest rest. concentrate on keeping her in!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntington on

Prematurity is usually (but not always) due to malnutrition or dehydration. If I were your midwife, one of the 1st things I look at is the woman's diet. That way I can give dietary advice in the beginning of pregnancy so there is plenty of time to make improvements before reaching the stage you are in. So, not trying to judge your eating here, just starting with the most common cause. I stress Good lean souces of protein (at least 100 grams a day for one baby, 140 g for twins) to prevent toxemia & prematurity (see Dr. Tom Brewers pregnancy diet) & green leafy' veges to prevent hemorrhage. To much caffeine can cause premature labor, as can GBS or just plain not drinking enough water - or too much stress. Taking some classes in relaxation may help. Listen to soothing classical music, use lavender scents, drink mint, camomile, hops, &/or passionflower teas
While you are de-stressing, read up on kangaroo care for preemies, just in case he or she does come early. Be sure your doc is also up on the latest Kangaroo care studies. Pray!
In the hospital they often put you on an IV Magnesium drip to stop ctx. You can start taking magnesium, or Cal/mag suppliments yourself which may be enough to stop ctx w/o resorting to their IV administration. Vit D suppliments should always be taken as well, IMHO. Procardia & Mag. both lower blood pressure as well, so using either of these options would depend on what your BP is. But I'l bet it's up from the stress, & these would work well.
I'm surprised your doc hasn't told you these things already. maybe you need to switch HCP!

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answers from Dallas on

You need to stay off of your feet. NOT as much as possible... stay off of your feet entirely. The only time you should be getting up is to pee. You need to have someone staying with you day and night to get you food, drink, the tv remote, adjust your comforter, help with your two other kids, etc. No leaving the house and grocery shopping, no getting up to answer the phone. Relax and rest. It will be hard, but your baby's health is much more important than your restlessness. I had preterm labor with both children and didn't exactly follow my bedrest instructions, especially for #1, and both babies came early. Not too early, but early.

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answers from Lynchburg on

First and foremost, Stay calm. Your baby can feel your anxiety and that makes her feel anxious too. Stay off your feet. Stay in the bed and only get up to go to the bathroom unless you can use a bedpan. I found this article and thought it would help you deal with it a little.
A pregnancy calendar that tracks the development of a fetus is a good place to start if you are curious as to the survival chances of a baby born at 29 weeks. has been a longstanding trusted resource for expectant women regarding pregnancy and infant development information, and the site offers a highly explanative calendar for each week of fetal development. According to BabyCenter's growth estimations for an infant in its 29th week of gestation, the baby's weight is about 2.5 pounds and is really enduring the rest of this gestational period for the purposes of gaining weight and allowing his organs to develop further. By the end of the second trimester, a fetus has all of its organs and bodily systems intact and can, with the aid of modern neonatal technology, survive birth as early as 23 or 24 weeks..
Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I agree you need bedrest. And really at this age there is no way to prepare. Everyday she stays in is a victory. What restrictions did your ob give you?

36 weeks and 6 ix day is term, but really at 34 weeks long term looks very good. So really the first week of Feb might just need to become your goal.
Oh and an apple a day. Oddly they are linked to low rate of premature birth. Diet does play a huge role in everything.
Have they hit you with steriods yet?


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

First off, try to relax. I'm sure you know stress will only make things worse.

Most babies born at 29/30 weeks have great chances. If you progress into real labor, they will probably give you shots to help her lungs develop quickly. And she will probably be in the hospital for a month at least. Especially since you have kids already, I would suggest finding some help - family, neighbors you trust, church members, etc - who can bring in some meals, help around the house, take your boys for a few hours, or such, since you will want to be at the hospital with the new baby as much as possible.
Most preemies do best on mom's breast milk, but might not be able to latch on or suckle yet, so be prepared to pump. Insurance should pay for you to rent a hospital quality one.

Hang in there. Like I said, 30 weeks (and even 29) has a good chance of making it through. It will be tough at first, but I know several kids who were born that early, and now I would barely know the difference if their moms hadn't told me (they're older now, like 10 or 12)

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answers from Phoenix on

You have gotten some really good advice below. I had bedrest with both of mine. Strict with one. The biggest thing for you is to not get up except to use the restroom. Stay hydrated and relax. AND keep in constant touch with your OB or Mid-wife. If something doesn't feel/seem right to you go to the hospital, don't wait. They can keep giving the terbutiline and the biggest thing is to be sure your cervex is not thinning and your not dialating. With my last I was in labor (active contractions) that they kept trying to stop with mag, terb everything for 4 weeks before I started changing. Once I did they brought me inpatient so they could watch.

Just rest adn be sure you have support in place in case she does decide to say hello early. And like the other ladies have said 29/30 weeks has very good odds now days. Be sure to get the 2 steroid shots for lungs though, it helps immensly!

Take care!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Gainesville on

Hey! This stinks! I was really glad you went back to the hospital the other day ;)

Have you called in to let them know you are still having contractions? I was put on Procardia which is actually a heart med but it causes smooth muscles (like the uterus) to relax. It helped a lot. I still had some contractions from time to time but my limit was 5 in an hour. If I had 5 (or more) in an hour I had to call in. Have you been given any advice on that?

Have they given you steroids to help mature her lungs? If not that should be done asap. That made a huge difference with my 32 week wimpy white boy (that is what they call them in the NICU lol).

But I will tell you that little girls of color usually do the best. That is one thing I learned while my son was in the NI and talking to the nurses, doctors and staff. My son was down at the bottom of the totem pole lol and he did really well because I had been given steroids twice to help mature his lungs.

If she comes around this time be prepared that she will stay in the NICU for a while. She may be on a vent for a time. She may get an NG tube for feedings. She may be in an isolette for a time until she can maintain her own body temp. The biggest hurdles to getting her home will be breathing, being able to nurse or bottle feed (and I successfully breastfed my preemie. If you want to know how just message me :) ), maintaining her body temp, keeping her weight on an upward climb, being able to breathe, suck and swallow and keep her heart rate good while eating.

If you want to nurse her make sure they know to bring you a pump as soon as possible after she is born so you can start pumping. Pump every 3 hours just as if she were nursing. Pumping was one thing that made me feel less helpless. I felt like it was one thing that *I* could do for my son. Really one of the only things I could do for him. I was glad I did. They had to give him formula because I had to get a rubella vac and had to dump my milk for 2 weeks and his little tummy was so upset the whole time. Once he was back to my milk he was fine! If you do this get some steam clean bags to make clean up so much easier and faster!

It's very, very hard to go home and leave baby at the hospital. I cried and cried after I got home after I left my son. But going back and seeing him later that night helped and I went to see him everyday-usually twice a day till he got home. And the NICU staff was great about telling me that I could call anytime day or night to check on him. There was more than one 2 am phone call just to check on him I can tell you. But it made me feel better and I could get back to sleep checking in on him.

Make sure you can deliver in a hospital that has a good NICU. Those docs and nurses are amazing. They know their stuff and will take good care of your princess till she is ready to come home.

Message me if you have any other questions. Best to you Mom!

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answers from Miami on

Too bad this is happening. I would eat alot of foods and smoothies with cilantro in it. Cilantro needs to clear out all the toxins from yours and the baby's body that they haev put into you. Naturally detoxify and drink lots of water. Try to get small amounts of movement even if you are on bedrest. A rocking chair, walking and easy things to give the baby a sense of movement to it's vestibular system which it will need terribly! Preemies do not have a good vestibular functioning because they have not been head down at all or not long enough to activate the functioning. The vestibular system is the pacemaker of the body and when it is off, sensory problems abound. I know this sounds a little whacked but after the baby is born, mkae sure you put the baby head down and hold for up to 8 secs at a time, a few times a day to give the baby what it missed. You can do this the whole first and second yr of life but start early. Good luck and let us know how things work out for you. One thing to remember to do when you get to the hospital regardless of when you deliver is to opt out of all vaccines! Especially Hepatitis B!!!! Very dangerous~Preemies or any baby younger then 4 months is too young for anything!



answers from Gainesville on

The short answer is to do exactly what your OB tells you to do. The next thing is to ease your panic. I would panic too; I'm not judging. You can call the OB nurse at any time I think to ask questions; I've never felt inhibited from doing that at all. A phone call is easier than an appointment, and you can get your information that way too. I would NOT search medical sites on the web, that will just make you paranoid.
At 30 weeks they will definitely give your little baby a steroid shot to help her lungs develop. The 30-week survival rate is excellent. Your concerns for her health are understandable; ask your pediatrician for information on what you may be facing with a preemie. Information calms me but not everyone is that way. I don't think labor for you will be inherently more dangerous; I think the issue here is the baby's health. Now I'm just guessing, but at this stage she is more fragile so perhaps a C-section is more likely. The OB may be more likely to call for a C-section earlier in the labor process to protect your baby if labor is too stressful. I would say to think about that maybe? This would be something to ask your OB about. And like I said, you can call your OB with questions before the appointment. If that would ease your mind, I would do it.


answers from St. Louis on

Isnt there more than can do? I would go back to the hospital if your having contractions.



answers from Tampa on

My sister had this and she took calcium and magnesium- there are powders you can get from a health food store, adding hot water- absorbs easily. Her contractions stopped, and she went full term.
Somewhat common for a later pregnancy because the earlier pregnancy used up your calcium and magnesium.
Best, k



answers from Boca Raton on

Stay in touch with your OB and nurses and get your friends and family involved, as you have two children who will need assistance and God Bless, best wishes....

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