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When should I call my Care Provider & Doula?

April 28, 2016


I always enjoy communicating with my HypnoBirthing and Doula families.  There is a time and place to contact your Care Provider and/or Birth Doula.  Today I would like to give a quick list of who to call and when.  Please note this blog is not intended to give medical advice.  It is written from my experience as a child birth educator and birth doula.


Please call you care provider first if these situations happen:


1.  Lack of movement after 28 weeks of pregnancy

  • You haven't felt your baby move in a while.  

  • Remain calm, babies sleep patterns change.  

  • Your care provider may have you do a kick count to determine how often your baby is moving.  


2.  Membranes / Water have released

  • If you believe your water has released as in a gush or even a trickle, remember COAT (Color, Odor, Amount and Time), and call your Care Provider immediately. Your Care provider needs those details.  

  • Remember sometimes babies kick our bladders and so if the water does not continue to flow or trickle, it might not be your membranes releasing.  But still call your doctor.

3.  Other signs of labor

  • Loose stool, upset stomach, bloody show, fever, vomiting, diarrhea or generally feeling poorly.

  • Call your Care Provider.


4.  Surges or Contractions

  • When you begin to have surges/contractions that are consistent for one hour.  

  • Or if you are not sure about the contraction pattern and have questions.  

  • Remember to download the application called iBirth.  


5.  Vaginal bleeding - Any time you have vaginal bleeding; you should let your care provider know.   

  • Up to 12 weeks of pregnancy - remember women spot during their first trimester.  Bleeding doesn't always indicate a miscarriage.

  • Vaginal exams, internal ultrasound - it is normal to see some blood for the first 24 hours after the exam or procedure.

  • During the second or third trimester bleeding can indicate you have a tear in your placenta or other issues.  Stay calm and call your care provider.

6.  Severe headache or swelling all over - If you get a headache in your first trimester or regularly suffer from migraines, it’s probably not a big deal. The same goes if you have some swelling in your ankles as your pregnancy progresses, as long as the swelling gets better when you rest and elevate your feet.

  • If you suddenly experience a splitting headache in your second or third trimester. 

  • Have changes in your vision.  

  • If your hands and face begin to swell significantly and the swelling does not go down. 

  • If your urine is dark, cloudy, and has a foul smell.

  • You could be suffering from preeclampsia, which is pregnancy-induced high blood pressure. Call your care provider immediately if you experience these symptoms.


When to call EMT?


1.  If the cord has come out first as the water or membranes release -  prior to the baby being born.  This is called a cord prolapse.  

  • It's important for 911 to be called immediately, unlock your front door if you are by yourself.

  • Pregnant person should be on the floor, head and shoulders down to the ground.

  • Pregnant persons should have their bum up in the air as far as possible on knees.

  • If the cord is dangling, please support the cord until EMT squad gets to you.

  • You are taken out to the hospital on all fours normally.

2.  If birth is moving very quickly and you don't think you are going to make it to the hospital.


When to call your birth doula?

Always after you have called your care provider regarding serious concerns you should call your birth doula so they know what is happening.


1.  I like to be called with updates after your regular Care Provider visits.

  • Feel free to text or email me updates regarding your visit.

  • If there is something that is important for you to communicate please feel free to call me (scheduling induction or cesarean section, baby positioning changed, birth plan changes are all great reasons to call). 

2.  You need a pep talk and are having reservations about pregnancy, birth, or your birth choices.  


3.  If you just need someone to vent to during those last few days of pregnancy.  If you need a referral or anything else.


Each birth doula has different requirements about when they wish to be contacted.  These are the ones that I see as important.  If you can think of others comment below.


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