Skip to content

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Preterm Labor - What Happens

If preterm labor occurs close to your due date (in the 35th or 36th week of pregnancy), you may be allowed to deliver without delay. Preterm birth at this point in a pregnancy doesn't usually cause serious problems.

But preterm labor doesn't always mean that preterm birth will happen. Your doctor may be able to stop your preterm labor.

When preterm labor can't be stopped, most women can deliver vaginally. But if your health or your baby's health is at risk, you may need a cesarean section.

Premature infant

A baby born too early may have complications, such as bleeding in the brain or chronic lung disease. The earlier a baby is born, the higher the risk.

Your doctors can prepare you for what may lie ahead. They can base this on your condition and how many weeks pregnant you will be when you give birth.

Thanks to improved medical care, more premature infants are surviving today than in years past. For more information, see the topic Premature Infant.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 08, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

    Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
    what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

    Today on WebMD

    hand circling date on calendar
    Track your most fertile days.
    woman looking at ultrasound
    Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
     
    Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
    The signs to watch out for.
    pregnant woman in hospital
    Are there ways to do it naturally?
     
    slideshow fetal development
    Slideshow
    pregnancy first trimester warning signs
    Article
     
    What Causes Bipolar
    Video
    Woman trying on dress in store
    Slideshow
     
    pregnant woman
    Article
    Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
    Video
     
    healthtool pregnancy calendar
    Tool
    eddleman prepare your body pregnancy
    Video