Labor Timeline at a Glance

  • 1

    Miscarriage

    0 to 19 6/7 weeks

  • 2

    Preterm Labor

    20 0/7 to 36 6/7 weeks

  • 3

    Early Term Labor

    37 0/7 to 38 6/7 weeks

  • 4

    Full Term Labor

    39 0/7 to 40 6/7 weeks

  • 5

    Late Term Labor

    41 0/7 to 41 6/7 weeks

  • 6

    Postterm Labor

    42 weeks +

Labor Timeline Details

0 to 19 6/7 weeks 

Spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage, is defined as a clinically recognized pregnancy loss before the 20th week of gestation. Spontaneous abortion is the most common complication of early pregnancy. The frequency decreases with increasing gestational age. The incidence of spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) in clinically recognized pregnancies up to 20 gestational weeks is 8 to 20 percent and at least half of miscarriages that occur during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy result from chromosomal abnormalities.

Symptoms:

The most common signs of miscarriage are vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain early in pregnancy.

 

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Miscarriage Details 

Definition of Term Pregnancy 

 

 

 

20 0/7 to 36 6/7 weeks

Preterm labor is defined as regular contractions of the uterus resulting in changes in the cervix that start before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Symptoms:

Change in type of vaginal discharge (watery, mucus, or bloody), increase in amount of discharge, pelvic or lower abdominal pressure, constant low, dull backache, mild abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea, regular or frequent contractions or uterine tightening, often painless or ruptured membranes

 

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Preterm Labor Details

Definition of Term Pregnancy 

 

37 0/7 to 38 6/7 weeks

Labor is defined as regular contractions of the uterus resulting in changes in the cervix.

Symptoms:

Strong and regular contractions 5 - 10 minutes apart, pain doesn't go away when you move or change positions, pain in the belly or lower back, your water breaks or bloody (red or brown) mucous discharge (bloody show).

 

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Definition of Term Pregnancy 

More Signs of Labor

 

39 0/7 to 40 6/7 weeks

Labor is defined as regular contractions of the uterus resulting in changes in the cervix

Symptoms:

Strong and regular contractions 5 - 10 minutes apart, pain doesn't go away when you move or change positions, pain in the belly or lower back, your water breaks or bloody (red or brown) mucous discharge (bloody show).

 

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Full Term Labor

Definition of Term Pregnancy 

 

41 0/7 to 41 6/7 weeks

Labor is defined as regular contractions of the uterus resulting in changes in the cervix

Symptoms:

Strong and regular contractions 5 - 10 minutes apart, pain doesn't go away when you move or change positions, pain in the belly or lower back, your water breaks or bloody (red or brown) mucous discharge (bloody show).

 

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Late-Term Management

Definiton of Term Pregnancy 

 

42 0/7 weeks or later

Labor is defined as regular contractions of the uterus resulting in changes in the cervix.

Symptoms:

Strong and regular contractions 5 - 10 minutes apart, pain doesn't go away when you move or change positions, pain in the belly or lower back, your water breaks or bloody (red or brown) mucous discharge (bloody show).

 

Go In-Depth:

More on Postterm Labor

Definition of Term Pregnancy