Pregnancy: When to Call Your Healthcare Provider

If you experience any of the following, contact your healthcare provider immediately, as these are considered emergencies:

  • Continuous leaking of fluid (water broken)
  • Abdominal trauma or car accident
  • Fever greater than 101° F
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Headache with vision changes
  • Painful contractions greater than 6 times in an hour (if less than 36 weeks)

  • When to See Your Healthcare Provider

    Use this chart as a reference to determine how you should treat common illnesses or symptoms throughout your pregnancy. 

    If in doubt, call your OB/GYN or primary healthcare provider.

    Illness/Symptom Call Your Provider’s Office Call Your Provider Immediately Home Treatment
    Bleeding/Cramping Some bleeding/spotting may occur after an internal exam Bleeding is less than a period with mild cramping; common in 1st trimester Bleeding is heavy (using a pad every 2 hours) 2nd & 3rd trimester cramping or painless heavy bleeding Cramping is equal to or worse than menstrual cramps Rest Avoid heavy lifting (more than 20 pounds)
    Vomiting Common in 1st trimester Unable to keep down liquids and solids for more than a 24 hour period Weight loss of more than 3-5 pounds Signs of dehydration occur (e.g. dry mouth fatigue/lethargy, poor skin turgor) Abdominal pain accompanied with vomiting Vitamin B6* Bananas Rice Applesauce Toast Rest Avoid hot sun
    Decreased Fetal (baby) Movements after 24 Weeks Baby moves less than 4 times in a 30-minute period while you are resting, during a normally active period for baby No fetal movement if accompanied by severe abdominal pain Rest Drink juice or a soft drink Eat a small snack
    Urinary Urgency and/or Pain With Urination Frequency Common in early and late pregnancy Pain with urination Feeling of urgency to void with little urine produced Temperature 101° F or higher Pain in upper back Contractions occur Blood in urine Urinate at regular intervals Increase fluid intake to 8-12 glasses daily
    Swelling Recent noticeable increase in feet and ankles Swelling of face and hands Swelling accompanied with headache or upper abdominal pain Swelling with decreased fetal movement Elevated blood pressure if using home monitoring Lie on left side and elevate legs Avoid salty foods (e.g. chips, fries, packaged foods)
    Cold and Flu Talk with your provider before taking Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or any over the counter medications. Temperature of 101° F or higher Green or yellow mucus develops Persistent cough for more than 5 days Breathing is difficult or wheezing occurs Your Doctor may prescribe: Tylenol, Actifed, Sudafed and/or Robitussin DM* Increase Fluids Rest Use Vaporizer Ibuprofen* – okay in 2nd trimester only

    Your Doctor Is Here to Help

    Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to call because you don’t want to wake the doctor or you feel silly. Worrying only stresses you and the baby, so go ahead and call! Find out what’s wrong and relieve your anxiety.

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