Premature labour is labour that begins before the 37th week of pregnancy. It can develop in any woman. Causes of premature labour may include infection, antenatal haemorrhage, pre-eclampsia, illness in the mother, foetal abnormalities or death, multiple pregnancies, or cervical incompetence. About forty percent of premature labour cases have no known cause. Signs of an early labour include contractions every ten minutes or more often, watery fluid from the vagina, menstrual-like cramping, low, dull backache, pelvic pressure, abdominal cramps, an unusual or sudden increase in vaginal discharge, and blood from the vagina. Treatment includes medications, supportive care for the baby to prepare it for birth, bed rest, and hydration.
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