Preemie Moms Share the Signs of Premature Labor

Everyone’s prematurity story is different and that got us thinking about how those stories begin. What are the most common signs of premature labor – like what were the very first symptoms of labor that preemie moms in our community experienced. We polled our Facebook community to find out what symptoms they experienced before going into premature labor. As many of us know, those signs and symptoms aren’t always the ones our doctors told us to look out for!

Here are some of the symptoms preemie moms experienced before giving birth prematurely. Which sound familiar to you? Which did you experience?


No fetal movement (turned out my water had broken around 22weeks), and swollen feet (developed preeclampsia after birth). I demanded an ultrasound, and she was born later that day at 23weeks. -Laura

Low groin pains/pressure. Dr said it sounded like a UTI. My water broke 4 days later due to incompetent cervix at only 22 weeks. -Amanda

Back pain! Unbearable back pain! It turns out that it was back labor and my contractions weren’t even showing up on the monitor because they were all in my back, not uterus! -Jennifer

For days before my daughter was born I felt pressured bottom of my belly -Rachel

It might sound strange, but I just knew. I didn’t expect him to come at 31 weeks, but two days before, I was on the phone with my mother in law saying “he’s not going to last until April!” I can’t remember anything specific physically though. -Emily

It felt like my son was stretching into my hip, it was a really deep pressure in my right hip. I told the nurse about it at my 26 week appointment, 2 days before he was born, and she literally laughed and told me that my body was just making room for the growing baby. -Angela

I’ve had 2 preterm births and both times I could only describe the way I felt as “blah” No symptoms at all, other than that feeling. It was like everything including my emotions were stuck in neutral. Delivered both times within 24 hours of starting to feel that way. -Brianna

I thought it was constipation and gas pains. Apparently it was super low contractions. – Sarah

woke up with bad headache light head. vomiting swollen feet and hands.. my doctor told me to take sinus med. I said no it not sinus problem. – Emily

Spotting throughout. Multiple trips to ER. OB said one week before the birth “it’s in Gods hands”. I fired her on the spot. No suggested bed rest, no meds. Then cramping. Finally got another OB appt when I spiked a fever the following Monday. All my amniotic fluid had leaked. – Sia

At my ultrasound 4 days before I gave birth my daughters head was so low they couldn’t measure it on the ultrasound. I told them it felt like I had a bowling ball between my legs. They blew it off and refused to do an internal ultrasound to check my cervix. 4 days later my twins were born at 28w 2d. – Melissa

Sudden change from frequent kicking and movement to barely discernable activity. I had morning sickness up until then and it went away. My eyesight changed and I remember thinking I must need glasses. Even though I felt much better than I had in months, there was this nagging feeling that something was wrong. – Pat

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