Dr Glenda McLaren
Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Premature Labour

Bloom Women's Health - Small flower purple

Premature Labour

Premature labour is a baby born before the 37th week of pregnancy. It occurs in 7% of pregnancies, and it is important to recognise the signs and symptoms. Early treatment can significantly improve perinatal outcomes, even for extremely premature infants, and medical advances in neonatal care have meant that more than 9 out of 10 premature babies survive, and most go on to develop normally. Most Australian premature babies are born between 32 and 36 weeks and don’t have any serious long-term problems. 

Many babies born before 32 weeks, and those weighing 2.5 kg or less, may need help breathing. They will usually be cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) until they have developed enough to survive on their own.  

Expectant mothers need to be aware of the signs of premature labour and seek medical attention promptly.  

Signs of Premature Labour

If you experience cramping pain, bleeding, mucous or fluid loss after 20 weeks, contact the hospital immediately.

Signs of premature labour can also include: 

Reasons for Premature Labour

Some of the reasons babies are born prematurely include: 

Managing Premature Labour

If you are less than 37 weeks pregnant and you experience any of the signs of premature labour, contact your Bloom Obstetrician or the hospital (ideally one with a neonatal intensive care unit – NICU).  

At the hospital, a doctor will check whether you are in labour; if you are, they may give you medicines to stop the contractions temporarily. You may also receive injections of corticosteroids which will reduce your baby’s risk of some of the complications of being born very early. 

As soon as your baby is born, neo natal experts will care for your baby, using specialised equipment, and will keep your baby warm and may help them to breathe if needed. Once your baby is stable, they may be transferred to the NICU.  

Read more about Premature Labour here.

Menopause - Bloom Women's Health

Menopause and HRT

The change of life or menopause is an important milestone...



PCOS is a common hormonal condition in women of reproductive...

Your First Visit

What should I bring to my first appointment?...

Get in contact with our team