What is included in outpatient care for 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

The provider should have increased contact with the patient, and the patient should be directed to a specific individual to report symptoms of preterm labor or complications. The contact may be via a combination of telephone contacts and office visits. When genital tract infection may have played a role in the preterm labor; a repeat culture may be recommended 2-4 weeks after discharge.

If inpatient tocolysis was unsuccessful and the patient delivered preterm, the patient and family should receive education concerning the etiology and risk of recurrence in subsequent pregnancies. Few etiologies exist for which prediction of subsequent preterm delivery in future pregnancies is 100% accurate. Time should be spent at the postpartum visit reviewing the patient's clinical history, laboratory data, and pathology reports. Preconceptual counseling may also be critical in the decision of the patient to again become pregnant and in managing her pregnancy.


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