Premature Birth

Much research has been done to attempt to determine the cause of prematurity but the rate of premature births has not changed in 20 years. The following are some of the risk factors associated with preterm labor and preterm births. If you have any of the risk factors, it is important that you discuss them with your health care provider.

  • African American race (double the risk)
  • Twins or greater pregnancy
  • History of a premature baby (triples the risk)
  • Smoker
  • Unmarried
  • Infections of the female organs
  • Late or no prenatal care
  • Stress ( financial, social, job-related, family)

The 7 Warning Signs of Preterm Labor

  • Blood, water or other discharge on your underpants (from your vagina).
  • The baby is not moving around as much as usual.
  • You have a fever (100.4 degrees or higher) and/or chills.
  • You are having constant uterine contractions. These may feel like cramps or you may not feel any discomfort at all.
  • Lower abdominal, thigh or vaginal pain or pressure.
  • Ache, pain or pressure in your back.
  • Ongoing abdominal cramps with or without loose bowel movements.
  • Call your health care provider if you are having any of these warning signs.


VCU Medical Center Patient Information
VCU Medical Center Women’s Health Services
Family Lifeline
March of Dimes
March of Dimes (Spanish) 
Parents Magazine
Baby Center
Safe SleepingConsumer Product Safety Commission Crib Safety Guides
Premature Birth

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Henrico Health Dept.West Clinic
8600 Dixon Powers Dr.
Henrico, VA 23228

Henrico Health Dept.East Clinic
1400 N. Laburnum Ave.
Richmond, VA 23223

(804) 205-3501
West End Main
(804) 501-4522
West End Clinic
(804) 501-4651
East End Clinic
(804) 652-3190

Shrader Rd WIC
(804) 501-1610
East End WIC
(804) 652-3180


Mailing Address
P. O. Box 90775
Henrico, VA 23273-0775


Shrader Road WIC
7740 Shrader Rd, Suite B
Henrico, VA 23228

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