Symptoms & Warning Signs   


Preterm labour is defined as labour that begins before the end of 37 weeks of pregnancy or more than three weeks before your due date.

The early warning signs of preterm labour may be subtle and may be hard to tell apart from normal symptoms of being pregnant. If at any time during your pregnancy you experience any of these symptoms, or have a gut feeling that something isn’t right call your primary health care provider straight away or head to the hospital.

Warning signs & symptoms of premature labour include:

  • Contractions every 10 minutes or more often
  • Watery fluid leaking from your vagina (water breaking) in a gush or trickle
  • Change in vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Low, dull back ache that may persist or come and go
  • Vaginal or rectal pressure
  • Menstrual like cramps that may occur with or without diarrhoea. They may be continuous or come and go.
  • A decrease in baby’s movements

It may be possible to prevent premature birth, though only your health care provider can tell for sure so pick up the phone and call straight away. Acting fast can make a difference.

Confirmation Content

Disclaimer: This publication by Miracle Babies Foundation is intended solely for general education and assistance and it is it is not medical advice or a healthcare recommendation. It should not be used for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment for any individual condition. This publication has been developed by our Parent Advisory Team (all who are parents of premature and sick babies) and has been reviewed and approved by a Clinical Advisory Team. This publication is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Miracle Babies Foundation recommends that professional medical advice and services be sought out from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your personal circumstances.To the extent permitted by law, Miracle Babies Foundation excludes and disclaims any liability of any kind (directly or indirectly arising) to any reader of this publication who acts or does not act in reliance wholly or partly on the content of this general publication. If you would like to provide any feedback on the information please email [email protected].