In many cases of preterm labour obstetric management consists principally of attempting to suppress contractions in women who are already in established labour. As will be discussed in greater detail, this strategy is essentially ineffective. It is probable that in the future obstetric strategies to reduce perinatal morbidity and mortality associated with preterm labour will involve the early identification of women at risk and the use of prophylactic therapies. Attempts have been made to devise risk scoring systems based on socio-demographic characteristics, anthropomorphic characteristics, past history, patient behaviour and habits and factors in the current pregnancy. None of these systems has been found to have positive predictive values or sensitivities which make them clinically useful. Most systems rely heavily on past obstetric history and are therefore irrelevant to women having their first baby. At the present time there are no screening tests which are routinely applied to gravid women who are not at high risk for preterm labour.
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Once your pregnancy is over and done with, your baby is happily in your arms, and youre headed back home from the hospital, youll begin to realize that things have only just begun. Over the next few days, weeks, and months, youre going to increasingly notice that your entire life has changed in more ways than you could ever imagine.