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8 Reasons to Call Your Doctor in Pregnancy

When and How to Call


Updated May 27, 2014

Doctor consulting with pregnant woman
Alistair Berg/Digital Vision/Getty Imgages
  1. Bleeding
    If you experience any bleeding or spotting, call your doctor or midwife immediately.

  2. Pain
    Sharp, one sided pain, or intense pain that does not go away with movement needs immediate attention. Minor aches and pains can wait until the morning or your next office visit.

  3. Contractions
    Before you are 37 weeks pregnant you need to call your midwife or doctor immediately if you have contractions more frequently than 10 minutes apart.

  4. Gush of Fluid
    If you have a gush of fluid at any point, it's an immediate call to your midwife or doctor.

  5. Baby Moving
    Any decrease in your baby's movements should be reported right away.

  6. Sudden/Severe Headache
    If you have sudden or severe headaches that are out of context for you, call your doctor or midwife within 24 hours.

  7. Swelling
    Some swelling is normal in pregnancy. Anything that is sudden or doesn't go away after a night of rest need to be reported to your practitioner.

  8. Questions
    Things that come up between visits but are not urgent can wait until morning or your next regular office visit.

What to Say When You Call

When you call your doctor or midwife you need to be ready to provide relevant data. Have the following information available:

  • Name
  • Due date
  • Last Menstrual Period
  • Symptoms you are experiencing (pain, bleeding, fluid, temperature, etc.)
  • How long you've been having these symptoms
  • Name of your doctor or midwife
  • Hospital closest to you
  • Pharmacy name and number

Calling During Office Hours

When you call during office hours you will usually talk to the receptionist first. You may ask to speak to the nurse who works with your doctor or midwife to be sure that your practitioner gets the message. It is also helpful because this nurse will generally be more likely to know you and your status than the receptionist.

Calling After Office Hours

Calling your practitioner after hours can be disconcerting. Generally, you will talk to the answering service first. Their job is to screen the calls and then route your call to the on call practitioner. This may not be your doctor or midwife. Usually they will return your call within five minutes. If they do not return your call in five minutes, call back.

If you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, go to the emergency room and have them alert your practitioner.

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Pregnancy & Childbirth
  4. Prenatal Care
  5. Pregnancy Fears
  6. 8 Reasons to Call Your Doctor in Pregnancy

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