Anytime during your pregnancy
Call your doctor or your nurse-midwife if:
Between 20 and 37 weeks of your pregnancy
Call your doctor, your nurse-midwife, or the labor and delivery unit of your local hospital if:
- You have had regular contractions for an hour. This means about 8 or more within 1 hour, even after you have had a glass of water and are resting.
- You have unexplained low back pain or pelvic pressure.
- You have symptoms of infection. For example:
- Your belly hurts when you press on it.
- You have a fever that you can't explain.
- You feel unusually tired.
- You have intestinal cramps.
- The baby has stopped moving or is moving much less than normal. Use kick counting to check your baby's activity.
If you are having painless or mild contractions that are irregular or more than 15 minutes apart:
- Stop what you are doing.
- Empty your bladder.
- Drink 2 or 3 glasses of water or juice (having too little body fluid can cause contractions).
- Lie down on your left side for at least an hour, and keep track of how often you have contractions.
Call your doctor or nurse-midwife if you start to have regular contractions.
Who to see
If you are in preterm labor, you may be seen by:
- An obstetrician.
- A perinatologist, also known as a maternal-fetal medicine specialist.
- A family medicine doctor.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.