Updated 4/22/22

Updated Visitation Policy (4/22)

Effective April 22, 2022 we have updated both hospitals’ Visitation Policy: RMC medical inpatients who are negative for COVID-19 will be allowed one visitor per day during their stay, including ONE overnight visitor. Read the full policy for details here.

Problems in Pregnancy: When Should I Call the Doctor?

A lot goes on with your body when you’re pregnant.

You have to deal with hormonal changes, aches, pains, morning sickness, stomach problems, and a whole slew of other symptoms that come with the territory of expecting.

Most of the time, what you’ll go through is perfectly normal. Soon-to-be mothers have endured these side effects of pregnancy for ages. But what if something happens that makes you think you need help? When, exactly, should you call the doctor?

Pregnant women don’t always like calling the doctor even when something may be off. In fact, a good percentage of pregnant women don’t ask questions because they don’t want to come across as a nuisance.

You should always feel free to talk to your doctor if you have concerns, though. That’s what we’re here for! But to help make you more comfortable doing so, here are some specific times in which you should call a doctor.


Expecting mothers often spot during the early phases of pregnancy, or experience other minor bleeding throughout their term. Most of the time, it’s nothing to worry about.

However, bleeding can be a sign of something more serious. To make sure everything’s normal, talk to a doctor any time you start bleeding. He or she can check you out and make sure everything looks okay.


If your hands, face, or feet start to swell, you should call a doctor. Swelling can be a symptom of a condition called preeclampsia, which can damage your liver and kidneys and usually pops up after the 20-week mark. This condition affects anywhere from 5 to 8 percent of all pregnancies.

Note that preeclampsia can happen even if you’re otherwise perfectly healthy, according to your vitals. So, if your extremities and face are swelling, talk to a doctor about it.

(Note: Problems with your vision can also be a sign of preeclampsia.)

Baby Movements

Babies move in the womb. For first-time mothers, this can be both a blissful moment and a scary one. But you’ll eventually settle into a routine, and you’ll learn how your baby likes to move around in there.

If you’ve reached the 28-week mark and there’s a change in your baby’s normal movement patterns, though, you should talk to a doctor. Around this time is when a baby’s umbilical cord can become compromised. Your doctor can take a look and see if anything needs more attention.


Itching is one of those things that happens in pregnancy. As with anything else, it’s usually nothing to worry about.

If the pads of your hands and the soles of your feet are very itchy, however, there might be a problem called cholestasis. Cholestasis can cause problems ranging from premature labor to fetal death, so it’s really important that you call a doctor if you notice these symptoms. If you notice that your bowel movements are pale colored, you should also call a doctor.

Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

UTIs can lead to premature labor, so it’s important to call a doctor if you notice these symptoms:

  • A burning sensation while urinating
  • Frequent desires to urinate
  • Urine that has a strange odor
  • Bloody or dark urine
  • Pain in your lower abdomen or back
  • Feeling shaky or fatigued
  • Chills or a fever

Better Safe than Sorry!

There are other symptoms that you may experience that may concern you. Don’t worry – every expecting mother has gone through many of the same things.

We want you to feel comfortable talking to your doctor whenever you’re concerned. Don’t think you’ll be a nuisance, or that it’s always nothing to worry about. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is just call a physician. After all, our priority is your health and the health of your baby!