When To Call the Doctor


A.     If you think that you may be in labor, monitor your contractions.

  • The time and frequency of your contractions from the onset of one contraction to the onset of the next.
  • The duration of a contraction refers to how long it lasts (they usually last 25-60 seconds).

B.     A contraction may feel like a tightening or “balling-up” of your abdomen, or just a pressure     sensation in your back.  You may check your contraction by pushing in on your abdomen, and if it feels hard, it is probably a contraction.

C.     In true labor, contractions tend to get progressively stronger, longer and closer together.

D.     In “false-labor” contractions tend to diminish with such things as walking around, taking a warm bath, drinking water, or lying down on your left side.

E.      Call if you have contractions averaging 5 minutes apart for over 2 hours.



A.    Call your doctor for any bright red bleeding from your vagina, either painful or painless.

B.     You may have a small amount of spotting after a vaginal examination or intercourse.  You do not need to call for this unless it increases or persists beyond one or two days.



A.    Call at once if your water breaks.  This is described as a large “gush” or a continuous trickle of fluid. 

  • Note the time you think your water may have broken and also note the color of the fluid, i.e.: clear, brown, green, etc.

B.     You do not need to notify your doctor if you pass your mucus plug or have “bloody show” unless you have regular contractions afterwards or are concerned that your water has broken.  This is a normal consequence of the early cervical changes that occur as you approach your due date.  The mucus plug can range from white to yellow to blood-tinged, and may pass gradually or all at once.  By itself, it is not a sign of labor.



A.    Call if you feel the baby’s movement has significantly decreased or has stopped.

B.     You may notice the baby’s activity gradually decreases as you get closer to your due date, but you should still feel regular kicks, especially after a meal.

C.     After eating a meal and concentrating on fetal movement, if you do not feel the baby move at least three times in 30 minutes after eating, contact your doctor.  We may advise you to come in for monitoring.


Call the office phone number: 340-4655.  It is very important that we speak directly with the patient.  When the doctor or nurse returns your call, please be ready to tell them your due date, describe any contractions, bleeding, leakage of fluid, or any other problem that may be going on.  You will need to know what hospital you plan to use, and to tell if you have ever had a c-section.  If your doctor instructs you to go to the hospital, please have someone ready to drive you.  Please do not attempt to drive yourself.