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

Acute Pain

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Acute Pain

May be related to

  • Muscle contraction (uterine contractions)
  • Effect of medications

Possibly evidenced by

  • Reports of pain or discomfort
  • Muscle tension
  • Narrowed focus

Desired Outcomes

  • Patient will report discomfort is minimized or controlled.
  • Patient will use relaxation techniques, effectively.
  • Patient will appear relaxed and will rest appropriately.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
Expedite the admission process and initiate bedrest for client, using lateral recumbent position. Side-lying position improves uterine blood flow and may decrease uterine irritability.
Teach relaxation techniques (e.g., deep breathing exercises, visualization, guided imagery, soft music). Help client refocus, attention decreases muscle tension, reduces perception of discomfort and promotes sense of control.
Using nursing comfort measures such as changes of linen and position, back rubs, and therapeutic touch. Relieves muscle tension and fatigue.
Encourage routine inspection of mucous membranes for ulceration or reaction to chewing of nifedipine, if used. Nifedipine may be irritating to the oral cavity in which case it should be swallowed whole.
Monitor maternal and fetal vital signs. Reflects effectiveness of interventions.
Administer analgesics, as indicated. Mild analgesics decreases muscle tension and discomfort.

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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