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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the signs of a possible premature birth?

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    The Small Miracles Foundation is a not for profit organisation which is established for the health and well being of families and to provide free … View Profile

    Preterm labour is the onset of labour between 24 and 37 weeks of pregnancy and is characterised by regular and often painful uterine contractions. The cervix (opening to the uterus) can also start to open. Half of all women who experience symptoms of preterm labour will have no changes to their cervix and the contractions usually stop without treatment.

    If you are experiencing contractions or cramps more than 5 in one hour this could be an indication of preterm labour. The contractions can be cramp-like or feel like an ache in the lower belly, or back but sometimes the preterm labour contractions can be relatively painless until close to the birth.

    Consult your doctor if you experience any of the following during your pregnancy:
    • Contractions or cramps, more than 5 in one hour
    • Bright red blood from your vagina
    • Pain during urination, possible urinary tract, bladder or kidney infection
    • Sudden gush of clear, watery fluid from your vagina
    • Low, dull backache
    • Intense pelvic pressure

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