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    Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to

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    Archived User

    Q. Yesterday my doctor discovered that I has low intencity contractions every 3min. which I did not feel at all.

    They gave me 1 litre of water to drink and IV Normal Sailine 1000ml. The contracrions stopped and I went home. I was told to monitor my contractions, but I don't feel nothing. I am 34 weeks pregnant how likely am I to go into preterm labor? This is my first baby and so far no complications.

    Archived User
    When I was 35 weeks pregnant I had a similar experience. That the water and IV fluid stopped the contractions is a GOOD sign. Keep yourself very hydrated. My midwife explained to me why this happens. When you are pregnant, especially nearing term, if your body becomes even slightly dehydrated it makes your body believe that staying in the womb is a hostile environment for the baby. In essence your body believes you will just continue to get dehydrated and the baby would most likely be better out than in. I'm not sure if I'm explaining it correctly, but that is what I remember her imparting to me. I know dehydration (even slight) is a major cause of preterm labor. So drink your water and if you can find a box of Electro Mix (made by Alacer Corp-the same people that make emergen-c) mix two of those up a day with water. They have no calories or sugar and contain trace minerals that really keep you well hydrated. It is Summertime and hot so it easy to get a little dehydrated. If it happens again (4 contractions or more in an hour for two hours) immediately drink a quart of water and lie down taking a second quart of water. If that doesn't fix it and your are less than 36 weeks plus four days pregnant, call your care provider.
    Henci Goer

    To Tatiana --

    Roughly half of the group of women who experience preterm labor will go on to have a preterm baby. No medications will hold off preterm labor for more than a short period. Bedrest does not avert preterm birth either. In other words, if you are in the half destined to deliver preterm, you can't do much about it. On the other hand, it would not hurt to take it easy as much as you can and reduce stress in your life as much as possible. For example, if you work standing, such as at a cash register, request a chair. Try to get more rest. Get help, if you can, with household chores and responsibilities and let things go that are not essential.

    As for staying hydrated, while it is true that dehydration can be a problem, especially in summer, overhydration can also be a problem with intake of large amounts of liquids, although it is less of a concern if you are drinking fluids with electrolytes in them and not pure water. Ask your care provider how much you should be drinking.

    The good news is that if worst comes to worst and the baby comes early, you are already past the point where there is real anxiety about an otherwise healthy baby's chances for survival and ultimate well-being.

    -- Henci   

    All Times America/New_York

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