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When to call the Doctor

During your pregnancy, you’re bound to have the odd tweak or tingle that you’re not entirely sure about. Should you be cramping, even if it is only a slight cramp? Are your feet supposed to be so swollen? Why isn’t your baby moving as much as she should be?

Many pregnant women become neurotic about their unborn babies welfare, and rightly so! In most cases, there’s no need to panic, but there are times when you should phone your doctor.

Phone your doctor if you:

  • Are bleeding
  • Have fluid leaking from your vagina
  • Experience discomfort or pain when urinating
  • Have persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Are very dizzy, faint or have a very poor appetite
  • Have a high fever
  • Have a severe headache or long-lasting headache
  • Have very swollen feet, hands or face
  • Experience any form of cramping – especially towards the end of your pregnancy
  • Notice your baby’s movement slows down considerably
  • Fall and land on your stomach

Don’t worry about bothering your doctor in the early hours of the morning. Doctors are used to getting phone calls at all times of the day or night. They would rather you phone them at 2am when the problem is relatively minor, than have to deal with an emergency when they come to their rooms at 8am. If your doctor doesn’t take calls after hours, then it’s time to find another Gynae.

If you can’t get hold of your doctor, phone the labour ward, at the hospital where you’re due to have your baby. They’ll page your doctor and will probably advise you to come straight to the hospital. The nurses or doctors will check you out, run a series of tests and may recommend you stay for observation.

And if you’re still having no luck, phone for an ambulance. The paramedics may not be able to diagnose the problem, but will be able to rush you to the nearest emergency unit.

A mother’s instinct is there for a reason; listen to it. Phone your doctor, no matter what. Rather be safe than sorry.

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