Labor that starts before 37 weeks of pregnancy could put your premature baby at risk. Know the signs of preterm labor and what to do if you notice them. Read more: What Are the Warning Signs of Premature Labor? Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Stages of Pregnancy: Week by Week
See pictures on the various stages of pregnancy. See and learn what changes a woman's body goes through and view fetal images of...
What Not to Eat When Pregnant Pictures: Alcohol, Fish, Fruit Juice, Sushi
Do you know which common foods may be risky during pregnancy? Learn which foods to avoid, while pregnant, such as queso dip,...
Am I Pregnant? Test Your Early Pregnancy IQ
What are early pregnancy symptoms? In some women, symptoms range from a missed period to feeling lightheaded. Others may...
Pregnancy Myths and Facts Quiz
Being pregnant is a delicate time for both mother and baby. Take this pregnancy myths and facts quiz to separate the myths and...
Pregnancy Exercises: Safe Workouts Like Prenatal Yoga, Kegels
Pregnancy exercises and workouts for moms-to-be include Kegel exercises and prenatal yoga. A prenatal workout is an important...
Related Disease Conditions
Is It Normal to Have Pain on Your Left Side During Pregnancy?
Left side pain and back pain are common symptoms that affect many women during pregnancy. Learn what causes it, how doctors diagnose it, and what you can do to treat left side pain and back pain during pregnancy.
Labor Symptoms (Early Signs)
Every woman's experience with labor and delivery is unique for each woman, and thus "Normal" labor varies from woman to woman. Some of the common signs and symptoms of normal labor include the "baby dropping," increase urination, back pain, contractions, and diarrhea.
How Soon Before Labor Do You Have Diarrhea?
Diarrhea may be a sign that your labor will start within 24-48 hours, but there are other more reliable signs that labor is approaching.
What Are the 4 Stages of Labor?
The 4 stages of labor are: dilation of the cervix, delivery of the baby, afterbirth, and recovery. Learn more about what to expect during each stage.
What Does Early Pregnancy Cramping Feel Like?
Many people experience cramping early in their pregnancy. Learn the signs of cramping, what causes it, when to see a doctor, and what you can do to treat it. The first week of the pregnancy is when the egg has been released from the ovum, the egg then combines with sperm and conception occurs. Progesterone and estrogen hormones, which are a part of the normal menstrual cycle, rise dramatically. A new hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) begins to be produced as well.
How Do Contractions Feel When They First Start?
Labor contractions, popularly known as contractions, refer to the tightening of a pregnant woman's uterus (womb). A contraction feels like a gradual tightening of the abdominal muscles that increases in intensity and then relaxes.
Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs)
Premature ventricular contractions (PVC) are premature heartbeats originating from the ventricles of the heart. PVCs are premature because they occur before the regular heartbeat. There are many causes of premature ventricular contractions to include: heart attack, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, mitral valve prolapse, hypokalemia, hypoxia, medications, excess caffeine, drug abuse, and myocarditis.
Braxton Hicks Contractions (False Labor)
Braxton Hicks contractions are also known as false labor pains. Though these irregular uterine contractions may occur in the second trimester, they're more likely to occur during the third trimester of pregnancy. Unlike true labor pains, false labor pains are often irregular, may stop when you walk, rest, or change positions, and the contractions do not get closer together or stronger.
Are Sharp Pains in Your Stomach Normal During Pregnancy?
Many women experience sharp pains in their stomach during pregnancy. Learn the signs of normal stomach pains in pregnancy, what causes them, what you can do to treat them, and when you should see a doctor for sharp stomach pains during pregnancy.
Braxton Hicks vs. True Labor: How to Tell the Difference
Some pregnant women may mistake Braxton Hicks contractions (false labor) for real labor contractions, especially in the first pregnancy. Real labor contractions occur at regular intervals that become progressively shorter; more painful as labor progresses; are described as a tightening, pounding, or stabbing pain. Braxton Hicks contractions do not occur in regular intervals; do not become longer over time; and may disappear for a period of time and then return. Braxton Hicks contractions occur in third trimester of pregnancy, however, sometimes can occur in the second trimester. True labor contractions begin around your due date (unless your baby is preterm, in which you will be in preterm labor). So how can you tell the difference? Here are a few similarities and differences between Braxton Hicks contractions and True or real labor contractions. Braxton Hicks contractionsBraxton Hicks contractions tend to become more frequent toward the end of pregnancy, and are not as painful as real labor contractions; do not occur in regular intervals; do not become longer over time; and may disappear for a period of time and then return.Labor contractions Frequently one of the early symptoms and signs of true labor is when the contractions begin to occur less than 10 minutes apart. Real labor Real labor contractions occur at regular intervals that become progressively shorter; more painful as labor progresses; are described as a tightening, pounding, or stabbing pain; may feel similar to menstrual cramps; and sometimes Braxton Hicks contractions can be triggered by dehydration, sexual intercourse, increased activity of the mother or baby, touching of the pregnant woman's abdomen, or a distended bladder. Natural and home remedies to soothe and provide comfort for Braxton Hicks contractions include relaxation exercises like deep breathing or mental relaxation; change positions or take a walk if you have been active and rest; drink a glass of herbal tea or water; eat; or soak in a warm bath for 30 minutes (or less). Preterm labor signs and symptomsWhen you have reached 37 weeks, and the contractions are more painful and are increasing in frequency you will have abdominal pain or menstrual-like cramping, an increase in pelvic pressure or back pain, and the contractions are more than four contractions an hour.
Preeclampsia and Eclampsia
Preeclampsia is a condition in pregnant women marked by high blood pressure and a high level of protein in the urine. Eclampsia occurs when preeclampsia goes untreated. Eclampsia can cause coma and death of the mother and baby. Preeclampsia symptoms include rapid weight gain, abdominal pain, headaches, blood in the urine, dizziness, and excessive vomiting and nausea. The only real cure for preeclampsia and eclampsia is the birth of the baby.
True Labor vs. False Labor and the 5-1-1 Rule
If you are in late pregnancy, it's hard to know when it is 'go' time. You may feel many different sensations and not know if it's true or false labor.
Can Having Sex In Your Third Trimester Induce Labor?
Sex allows you to enjoy physical pleasure and intimacy with your partner with little chance of harming your baby. No medical studies definitively indicate that sex in the third trimester of pregnancy can induce labor.
How Do I Know If I Can Have a Vaginal Birth?
Some C-sections are medically necessary and can't be avoided. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of needing a C-section if this is your first pregnancy.
How Do Fibroids Affect Pregnancy?
What are fibroids, and how do they affect pregnancy? Learn the signs of fibroids, what causes them, how doctors diagnose them, and what you can do to treat them during your pregnancy.