I will never forget being 29 weeks pregnant, at the hospital in pre-term labor, and being told, “You’re going to O’ahu.” I began wondering what airline I would take, who would call to make a reservation…. Oh my naiveté. That plane was going to come just for me, and it would be staffed by medical technicians. It would be the scariest flight of my life, being medi-vaced is no picnic.
November is Prematurity Awareness Week, and Maui Mama’s are wise to be extra aware. The Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) that care for premature babies are all an ocean away, making knowing the signs of pre-term labor critical. Half of pre-term labor has no known cause, so be sure to be on the lookout for early signs and discuss them with your doctor.
When in doubt, check it out! Every week counts.
Preterm labor is any labor that occurs between 20 weeks and 37 weeks of pregnancy. Here are the symptoms:
Contractions (your abdomen tightens like a fist) every 10 minutes or more often
Change in vaginal discharge (leaking fluid or bleeding from your vagina)
Pelvic pressure – the feeling that your baby is pushing down
Low, dull backache
Cramps that feel like your period
Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea
Don’t let anyone tell you that these symptoms are, “normal discomforts of pregnancy”. Trust your mommy gut… ‘er belly:) If any of them (you don’t need to have all of them) happen before your 37th week of pregnancy, call your health care provider. For more info on the signs go to March of Dimes.
On average every week in Hawai’i 42 babies are born pre-mature, by knowing the signs we can help reduce that number.
Every week counts, and every baby deserve their 40 weeks.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.
Image Credit: Lauren Wilson