6 Preterm Labor Nursing Care Plans


Preterm labor, also called premature labor, is the onset of rhythmic uterine contractions that produce cervical change after fetal viability but before fetal maturity. It usually occurs between the 20th and 37th weeks of gestation.

Nursing Care Plans

Management involves suppression of preterm labor when tests show immature fetal pulmonary development, cervical dilation is less than 4 cm and the absence of factors that contraindicate continuation of pregnancy.

The nurse should monitor closely for signs of fetal or maternal distress, and provide comprehensive supportive care for patients with preterm labor.

Here are six (6) nursing care plans and nursing diagnosis for preterm labor:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Activity Intolerance
  3. Risk for Poisoning
  4. Risk for [Fetal] Injury
  5. Acute Pain
  6. Deficient Knowledge


Nursing Diagnosis

May be related to

  • Situational crisis
  • Perceived or actual threats to self and fetus

Possibly evidenced by

  • Increasing tension
  • Apprehension
  • Sympathetic stimulation

Desired Outcomes

  • Patient will verbalize understanding of individual situation and possible outcomes
  • Patient will report anxiety is reduced and/or manageable
  • Patient will appear relaxed; with maternal vital signs within normal limits.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
Explain the procedures, nursing interventions, and treatment regimen. Keep communication open; discuss with the client the possible side effects and outcomes while maintaining an optimistic attitude. Information and knowledge of the reasons of these activities can decrease fear of the unknown.
Orient client and partner to labor suite environment Helps client and/or significant others feel at ease and more comfortable in their surroundings.
Answer questions honestly, especially information regarding contraction pattern and fetal status. Provision of clear information can help the client or couple understand what is happening and may reduce anxiety.
Encourage use of relaxation techniques. Enables the client to obtain maximum benefit from rest periods; prevents muscle fatigue and improves uterine blood flow.
Encourage verbalization of fears or concerns. Can help reduce anxiety and stimulate identification of coping behaviors.
Monitor maternal and fetal vital signs. Vital signs of client and fetus may be altered by anxiety. Stabilization may reflect reduction anxiety level.
Assess support systems available to the client or couple, whether the client remains hospitalized or is to return home to await delivery. The assistance and caring of significant others, including caregivers, are extremely important during this time of uncertainty and stress. If the client is to return home, additional support will be required to meet self-care needs and homemaker activities as well as child care, as appropriate.
Administer sedative if other measures are not successful. Provides soothing and tranquilizing effect.

See Also

You may also like the following posts and care plans:

Maternal and Newborn Care Plans

Nursing care plans related to the care of the pregnant mother and her infant. See care plans for maternity and obstetric nursing:

Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.

Leave a Comment