Pregnancy is chock full of weird feelings, aches and pains, and lots of stress and worrying. Most of these are completely normal, as is the excessive worrying that accompanies them. But one thing that could ease your worrying is knowing when you should call your maternity doctor.
Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
If you’re experiencing bleeding or spotting, it’s best to call your doctor immediately. Not all bleeding during pregnancy is bad, but this is something you should have checked out.
If you feel sharp, intense, or one-sided pain, and it doesn’t go away with movement or repositioning, call your doctor. Minor aches and pains can wait until your next office visit. Be honest with yourself about your pain level, and seek help if you need it.
If you’re less than 37 weeks pregnant and having contractions that are more frequent than 10 minutes apart, you should get your doctor on the phone.
If you feel a gush of fluid, big or small, that could be your water breaking. Some women can’t even tell when it happens, so if you aren’t sure, it’s best to call your doctor anyway.
Babies sleep and wake inside your tummy, so you shouldn’t expect movement around the clock. If you notice a significant decrease in your baby’s movement, however, you should report this to your doctor right away.
If you’re experiencing sudden or severe headaches (that aren’t normal for you) you should be in contact with your maternity doctor within the next 24 hours.
Some swelling is normal! Your feet and hands will swell throughout the day, and that’s nothing to worry about. Anything sudden, or that doesn’t go away after a night of rest, should be a point of concern—call your doctor.
Keep an ongoing list of questions you think to ask your doctor, and bring your list to your next appointment! Not every question is an emergency, so if it can wait, wait.
What to Expect
When you make the call, odds are you’ll feel flustered and nervous—especially if you think something is seriously wrong. Be ready to give the appropriate information so you can get the help you need as quickly as possible.
- Your name
- The name of your doctor or midwife
- Your due date
- The date of your last period
- The symptoms you’re experiencing
- How long you’ve been experiencing them
- The hospital closest to you
- Your pharmacy’s name and number
Calling during office hours will start with speaking to a receptionist. You should ask to speak to the nurse that works with your doctor to make sure your doctor gets the message if they’re busy or out of the office—the nurse is more likely to know more about you and your status than the receptionist will.
Calling Your Maternity Doctor After Hours
First, you’ll most likely get an answering service. This is to screen calls, as well as to route them to the on-call practitioner. This might not be your doctor, but they can still help you. Typically, they’ll call you back within 5 minutes—if they don’t, call again.
If you’re experiencing a life-threatening emergency, don’t bother calling anyone—go straight to the emergency room, and they’ll get in touch with your doctor there.
Have more questions or need guidance through this journey? Contact the team at RMC today.