This problem is more common in women who:
- Are Black
- Are pregnant with more than 1 baby
- Used assistive reproductive technology to become pregnant
- Are under the age of 16 years old
Some things that may raise the risk are:
- Prior premature birth
- Problems with the cervix
- Certain infections
- Substance use
- Alcohol use
- Mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety
- Problems with the placenta or uterus
- Vaginal bleeding
- Birth defects in the fetus
Treatment will depend on your baby's growth, especially the lungs. Labor may be allowed to go on in a baby that is more developed. The doctor may try to stop labor in a baby that is not developed enough.
Some ways this may be treated are with:
- Tocolytics to try to delay labor for a few days
- Corticosteroids to help the baby's lungs grow
- Antibiotics to treat an infection
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
American Pregnancy Association http://www.americanpregnancy.org
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org
Women's Health Matters https://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Practice Bulletins—Obstetrics. Practice Bulletin No. 171: Management of Preterm Labor. Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Oct;128(4):e155-64, reaffirmed 2018.
Premature and preterm labor. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/premature-labor. Accessed July 21, 2020.
Preterm labor. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/preterm-labor . Updated November 14, 2019. Accessed July 21, 2020.
7/15/2016 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance. https://www.dynamed.com/condition/preterm-labor : Saccone G, Berghella V, et al. Celiac disease and obstetric complications: a systematic review and metaanalysis. 2016;214(2):225-234.