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If you are in preterm labor or think you may be, your doctor may do some tests to monitor you and your baby. These tests include:

  • Lab tests—These may involve testing blood, urine, and cells from the cervix or amniotic fluid to look for infection.
  • Ultrasound—This test uses sound waves to create images of the inside of your body. In this case, the ultrasound is done to:
    • Examine the placenta
    • Check the baby’s age
    • Look for birth defects in the baby
    • See the position of the baby
    • Measure the cervix and the amount of amniotic fluid
  • Amniocentesis —This test involves removing a small amount of amniotic fluid to look for infection or to see if the baby’s lungs are mature.

Revision Information

  • Premature labor. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/premature-labor. Updated August 2015. Accessed March 4, 2016.

  • Preterm labor. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 8, 2016. Accessed March 4, 2016.

  • Preterm labor. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Preterm-Premature-Labor-and-Birth. Accessed March 4, 2016.

  • Sosa CG, Althabe F, Belzan JM, Bergel E. Bed rest in singleton pregnancies for preventing preterm birth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015;3:CD003581.