When to call the doctor
Some helpful signs or symptoms for when to go to the doctor. It includes information on preterm/premature labour and what to look out for.

Signs or symptoms

Call your doctor or go to your local hospital or clinic immediately if you have any of these signs or symptoms:

  • Bright red spotting
  • Slow leak or sudden gush of water (leaking of amniotic fluid)
  • Sharp pain in the abdomen or side, which doesn’t go away
  • Blurred vision, flashing lights or spots
  • Bad headache and/or dizziness, accompanied by unusual swelling of the face, hands, legs and feet
  • Chills and fever
  • Pain when passing urine

Preterm labour

You also need to be aware of possible preterm labour. This is labour that starts prior to 37 weeks gestation. Premature labour can sometimes be stopped if you get to the hospital in time. Signs to look out for are:

Warning signs

  • Contractions that are 10 minutes apart or closer and which don’t ease off if you move around or change position
  • Period-like cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Low, dull backache that comes and goes or persists
  • Pressure in your groin, which feels like your baby is pushing down

If you have these symptoms, lie down and monitor your contractions. If these symptoms don’t go away within an hour, or you have more than 5 contractions in an hour, call your doctor, clinic or hospital immediately.

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