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

Activity Intolerance

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Activity Intolerance

May be related to

  • Prolonged physical activity and stress
  • Muscle hypersensitivity

Possibly evidenced by

  • Continued uterine contractions and/or irritability
  • Reduced activity level

Desired Outcomes

  • Identify and/or engage in activities appropriate to situation.
  • Demonstrate reduction and/or cessation of uterine contractions.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
Provide comforts measures (e.g., back rubs, changes of position, decreased stimuli in room) Decreases muscle tension and fatigue and helps promote sense of well-being.
Explain the reasons of requiring bedrest. Use lateral recumbent (i.e., side-lying position) and decrease activity. These measures are intended to keep the fetus off the cervix and may enhance uterine perfusion, bedrest may decrease uterine irritability.
Cluster nursing care: group activities together as much as possible, such as medication administration, vital signs, and assessment. Promotes longer opportunities for client to rest between interruptions.
Provide uninterrupted periods for rest and/or sleep. Helps promote rest, prevent fatigue, and may enhance relaxation.
Offer diversional activities (e.g., reading, watching TV) Assist client in coping with decreased activity.
Assess uterine contractions per protocol. Reflects effectiveness of and determines need for further interventions.

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.

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