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Treatment of Preterm Labor and Delivery

Authors:
  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Treatment of Preterm Labor and Delivery

Preterm labor and delivery treatment will depend on the baby's growth, especially the lungs. Labor may be stopped in a baby that is not developed enough. This may be done with:

Labor may be allowed to continue in a baby that is more developed. It may also be done when there is:

  • A lot of vaginal bleeding
  • Very high blood pressure
  • An infection in the uterus (womb)
  • A fatal birth defect or the baby has already died
  • Placental abruption—the placenta separates from the uterus before the fetus is delivered

References

  • 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.
  • How do health care providers diagnose preterm labor? National Institute of Child Health and Human Development website. Available at: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preterm/conditioninfo/diagnosed.
  • Premature labor. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/labor-and-birth/premature-labor.
  • Preterm labor. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/preterm-labor.
  • Preterm labor and birth. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/labor-delivery-and-postpartum-care/preterm-labor-and-birth.
  • Preterm labor and birth. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development website. Available at: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preterm.

Contributors

  • Elizabeth Margaret Prusak, MD
Last Updated:
2022-12-01

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.