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Pregnancy - When to Call a Doctor

After 37 weeks

After 37 weeks, call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you:

  • Have had fluid gushing or leaking from your vagina (the amniotic sac has ruptured) AND you know or think the umbilical cord is bulging into your vagina (cord prolapse). If this happens, immediately get down on your knees so your buttocks are higher than your head to decrease pressure on the cord until help arrives. Cord prolapse can cut off the fetus's blood supply. (These measures apply to you if you are as early as 24 weeks pregnant.)

After 37 weeks of pregnancy, call your doctor or midwife immediately or go the hospital if you:

  • Have vaginal bleeding (for light spotting, you can call at any time on the same day).
  • Have had regular contractions for an hour. This means about 4 or more in 20 minutes, or about 8 or more within 1 hour.
  • Have a sudden release of fluid from the vagina.
  • Notice that the baby has stopped moving or is moving much less than normal. See Pregnancy: Kick Counts for information on how to check your baby's activity.

For more information about problems during pregnancy, see the topic Pregnancy-Related Problems.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 24, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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