What are the indications for discharge from inpatient care of preterm labor?

Updated: Dec 17, 2018
  • Author: Michael G Ross, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Carl V Smith, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Once the episode of preterm labor has been arrested, a gradual return to limited activity should be encouraged prior to hospital discharge. The following factors may influence the decision to discharge the patient:

  • Cervical dilation

  • Fetal presentation

  • Number of fetuses

  • Gestational age

  • Access to the hospital

  • Social support at home (transportation at all times, telephone)

  • The ability to maintain limited activity and pelvic rest

  • Good patient compliance

If the patient was referred to a subspecialty care facility, the local obstetrical and pediatric providers should be comfortable with home management. If labor should recur, they may have to manage the rapid delivery of premature infant.

The patient should be informed regarding the signs and symptoms of recurrent preterm labor. The critical signs of recurrent preterm labor include contractions greater than 4 per hour, rhythmic back or thigh pain, increasing pelvic pressure, unusual discharge, vaginal spotting/bleeding, or rupture of membranes.


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