Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Trusting Tuesday: Preterm Labor

It is hard to trust your body when it isn't doing what it is supposed to do.
Have you experienced preterm labor? How about a preterm delivery?

Many women have had scares with preterm contractions. You know, the Braxton-hicks contractions that get you worked up. You start counting contractions and then you drink a bunch of water, lie down on your side, take a warm bath, and they are gone. Often these are nothing to worry about, usually it is your body telling yourself to "take it easy" or "slow down and relax."

Other times you start contracting because of a bladder infection or a vaginal infection such as bacteria vaginosis.

Not quite as common are contractions that actually put your body into labor. Often if things are caught early the labor is able to stop. We do tests to assess your risk for preterm birth, we give medications to prolong labor or stop contractions, we give IV fluids to rehydrate a possibly dehydrated mother. But guess what? Sometimes we can't stop preterm labor.

We often can't find a reason why women go into preterm labor. I personally had "preterm contractions" with my first daughter, spent a week using terbutaline** every 4-6 hours and on bedrest. Eventually they mellowed out and my body adapted. I took it easy and continued to take my terbutaline twice a week or so until 34 weeks. I went on to have a 38 week delivery.

Fortunately I didn't experience any bad outcomes because of my preterm contractions. I never went into labor, I never dilated, and I am even sure that bedrest was excessive and probably unnecessary. Did I trust my body after that? Sure I did. I knew it knew how to keep a baby inside of me.

But what about the women who have their baby prematurely? Do they/you trust your body after that? Should you trust your body after that?

I don't have the answer for those questions. I wish I did.

**I will post at another date the newest information about Terbutaline and the FDA warning

No comments: