Call Your Midwife If….
Please contact us if you experience any of the following symptoms or any time that you have concerns. There are many aches and pains that are normal in pregnancy, so what you are concerned about may not be a danger sign. It is important, however, that any of the following signs be assessed by your midwife:
- Vaginal bleeding (slight spotting after a vaginal exam or sexual intercourse may be normal)
- Severe abdominal pain
- Significantly reduced fetal movements
- Sudden, severe swelling of your hands and face
- Severe headaches, dizziness or blurred vision
- Fever and chills
Preterm Labour: Signs and Symptoms
Preterm labour means going into labour prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy, or three weeks before your due date. It is not always easy for a woman to tell if she is having preterm labour. Many of the signs of preterm labour can feel the same as some of the normal discomforts of the second half of the pregnancy. The important signs to watch for, especially if they are new or different from what you were feeling before, are:
- Your “water breaking”. This may be either a trickle or a gush of water from your vagina. Please note the quantity of water, the colour, and if there is an odour
- Bad cramps or stomach pains that don’t go away with rest
- Bleeding from your vagina
- Lower back pain/pressure, or a change in lower backache
- A feeling that the baby is pushing down
- Contractions, or a change in the strength or number of them
- A significant change in your baby’s movements
- A sudden increase in the amount of your vaginal discharge
- Some women may just feel that “something is not right”
A word about contractions: Preterm labour contractions feel different from the normal tightenings, or “Braxton-Hicks” contractions, that many women feel in the second half of pregnancy.
- They may feel more regular
- They do not go away if you move around, lie down or have a bath
- There may be other signs that happen at the same time as the contractions, such as fluid leaking from your vagina or pressure in your pelvis
If you have any signs of preterm labour, call your midwife or go to the hospital! You need to be seen by a midwife/doctor to confirm if you are in preterm labour. It is important to seek medical advice, no matter the day or time of day.