Preterm delivery is defined as delivery before 37 weeks completed gestation. It represents a major cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality and accounts for 5–10% of all deliveries. Cervical length assessment between 16–24 weeks and positive fetal fibronectin beyond 21 weeks gestation are proved to useful tools in prediction of preterm labour. Treating asymptomatic bacteruia and bacterial vaginosis in high-risk women reduces the incidence of preterm labour. Cervical cerclage is recommended to reduce the incidence of preterm birth in women with 2nd trimester losses and those with cervical length of 25 mm or less on transvaginal ultrasound between 16–24 weks gestation. Atosiban and nifidipine are currently the agents of choice in tocolysis. Antenal steriods in womens with threating preterm labour reduces the perinatal morbidties. Magnisum sulphate role is established for neuroprotection especially in extreme gestations between 24–30 weeks. Vaginal delivery is mode of choice for delivery with consideration to avoid fetal blood sampling, fetal scalp electrodes and ventouse prior to 34 weeks gestations. Caesarean section is considered for obstetric reasons that guide labour management at term.
Part of the book: Empowering Midwives and Obstetric Nurses