Q: Hi Dr. ketch is it possible to give birth at 8 months? I’ve been having abdominal pains for 2 days now the baby keeps tossing and turning? Could this be labor pains or not?
A: Abdominal pain in pregnancy may or may not be serious.
Harmless causes include:
· The growing womb (uterus)
· Braxton-Hicks contractions (these are ‘fake’ contractions preparing the womb for the main even :D)
Serious causes of pain during pregnancy include:
· Ectopic pregnancy. To learn about ectopic pregnancy, please click on this link https://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/08/07/daily-health-tips-what-are-my-options-after-ectopic-pregnancy-and-failed-ivf/
· Pre-term labour. To learn about this, please click on this link: https://chatwithdrketch.com/2015/07/28/daily-health-tips-am-i-leaking-amniotic-fluid-liquor-amnii/
· Miscarriage. To read more on miscarriage, please click on this link: https://chatwithdrketch.com/2015/07/23/daily-health-tips-im-scared-of-getting-pregnant-after-two-miscarriages/
· Placental abruption. To learn more, click on this link: https://chatwithdrketch.com/2015/03/26/daily-health-tips-placental-abruption/
· Urinary tract infection. To learn more, please click on this link https://chatwithdrketch.com/2016/02/19/daily-health-tips-re-visiting-chronic-utis/
· Pre-eclampsia. To learn more, please click on this link: https://chatwithdrketch.com/2015/10/23/daily-health-tips-protein-in-urine-during-pregnancy/
Having said all these, you probably have no way of knowing what is harmless or not. So err on the side of caution and see your doctor if ‘it just doesn’t feel right’.
Can a baby be born at 8 months? Well, the simple answer is yes. A premature baby comes into the world before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. Babies born prematurely have to be in intensive care (Special Care Baby Unit) so as to give them a fighting chance. They are prone to having problems like apnea(where the baby sometimes stops breathing), anaemia (shortage of sufficient number of red blood cells to carry oxygen round the body), respiratory problems and low blood pressure etc.
Who is at risk of having a premature baby? Sometimes we don’t really know the cause, but it has been observed in mothers younger than 19 years of age and older than 40 years. Some cases can be brought on by chronic diseases which the mother already had before pregnancy like hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus or could be due to Urinary Tract Infections, other diseases of the heart or kidney, due to abnormal positions of the placenta in pregnancy or due to multiple pregnancy (carrying more than one baby in the womb eg twins). Smoking, drinking alcohol, drug abuse and failure of the mother to feed well during pregnancy are other factors that can lead to prematurity.
So, I suggest you go see your doctor immediately for proper evaluation. Hopefully, the pains are from Braxton Hicks contractions (your womb rehearsing for the real labour).
All the best!