Pre-term Labor

Preterm labor is labor that happens too early, before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy.
Any woman can have preterm labor and give birth early, even if she’s done everything right during pregnancy. There are some risk factors that increase your chance for preterm labor, the most likely being:

  • Having a premature baby in the past
  • Being pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets or more)
  • Having problems with your uterus or cervix now or in the past

Helping You Protect Your Baby

Babies born early have an increased risk of health problems, so we are here to do everything we can to help you carry your baby as close to full term as possible.

In your third trimester, we’ll perform antepartum tests to look for signs that might indicate the likelihood of preterm labor and an early birth.

  • A non-stress test will monitor the baby's heart rate
  • A biophysical profile evaluates a baby's movement, breathing, muscle tone and amniotic fluid
  • Brief ultrasounds check the amniotic fluid volume

If extra care is needed to protect the health of the mother or baby, you may be put on bed rest at home. In some cases, your provider will want you admitted to EvergreenHealth’s antepartum unit for bed rest and continuous monitoring of both you and your baby.

Should preterm labor result in an early birth, your baby will get the best of care in EvergreenHealth’s neonatal intensive care nursery. You can rest assured, knowing the Level 3 NICU provides the highest level of lifesaving care for newborns.